Principal Investigator: 
Dr. Scott Schlarbaum

Dr. Scott Schlarbaum is the current Project Leader for The University of Tennessee’s Tree Improvement Program (UT-TIP). UT-TIP was founded in 1959 and is one of the oldest university-based tree breeding and testing programs in the United States. The program is directed toward improving and protecting the forest resource in Tennessee, while making contributions to collegiate education and advances in the forestry profession and science in general.

Improvement of hardwood species have always been a component of the UT-TIP, as has been addressing exotic forest pathogens through resistance breeding. Professor Eyvind Thor , the first UT-TIP leader, began cross-pollinations of surviving American chestnut, attempting to build resistance. Response to exotic pests continues today with extensive research on restoring butternut and other decimated species to eastern forests. Other UT-TIP priorities are: developing seed orchards of various hardwood species to provided the Tennessee State Nursery with locally adapted, genetically improved seed, establishing precision forestry experiments, and conservation of Tennessee’s plant genetic resources.

Within the Hardwood Genomics Project, UT-TIP is developing and maintaining molecular mapping populations for northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), honeylocust (Gledisia triacanthos), and tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) and performing outreach activities with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian’s K- 12 students.

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