13 Mar 2009, 7:38pm
Crop Species Hardwoods Trees
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Chapter 4: The Best Hardwoods

From A Guide to Innovative Tree Farming in the Pacific Northwest by Mike Dubrasich. 2005. Whirlwind Press. For a hard copy of the book ($10 - includes shipping) please contact W.I.S.E. [here].

Best of the Best: Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)

Runners-Up: Oregon Ash (Fraxinus latifolia), Bitter Cherry (Prunus emarginata)

Honorable Mention: Red Alder (Alnus rubra)

Innovative tree farmers do not limit themselves to growing conifers only; hardwood tree species are too profitable not to grow. In fact, hardwoods can be much more profitable than conifers.

Hardwoods are more properly termed broad-leaved, flowering trees. Most hardwood trees native to the Pacific Northwest are deciduous; in contrast, most of our conifers are evergreens. The wood from hardwood trees is not necessarily hard, but hardwood wood does have a slightly different cellular structure than conifer wood.

Bigleaf maple

Of the hundreds of native hardwood tree species, bigleaf maple is the best of the best to grow on Pacific Northwest tree farms. It’s very fast-growing, easy to grow, produces multiple high-value products starting at a young age, and provides opportunities to add value.

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