12 Aug 2008

Rotorua firm develops tree-finetuning technology

4:56 pm on 12 August 2008

A Rotorua-based company has developed tree-breeding technology that allows forest owners to select characteristics such as disease resistance, faster growth, and the ability to grow better in particular regions.

Forest Genetics CellFor Ltd uses technology under licence from a Canadian company, as well as using New Zealand plant propagation expertise from researchers at Crown research institute Scion.

The trees are grown using frozen tissue to develop cloned varieties of genetically superior radiata pine.

Forest Genetics co-founder Mike Carson says the technology gives a greater uniformity in the characteristics of the trees.

Mr Carson says the trees can also be bred to be more resistant to diseases already in New Zealand, as well as others that may come in from overseas