Description and Performance of Four Eucalyptus grandis Cultivars Released by IFAS/UF in 2009

Donald L. Rockwood, Bijay Tamang

Abstract


Genetic improvement of Eucalyptus grandis for Florida conditions started in the 1960s. Substantial improvements in the species’ growth, form, and freeze resilience have been achieved, culminating in the release in 2009 of the four commercial cultivars E.nergy™ G1, G2, G3, and G4. While G1, G2, G3, and G4 have exceptional growth rate, stem form, freeze tolerance, and coppicing ability compared to 4th-generation E. grandis seedlings, the four cultivars have important differences in these characteristics, their genetics, and wood properties. Planted at five locations throughout peninsular Florida in 2009, the cultivars survived well, were up to 6.1 m (20 ft) tall in 8 months, and typically tolerated the exceptionally cold weather of Jan.–Feb. 2010. Their deployment expanded in 2010, and they will be widely available for future commercial energywood farms and other uses in southern, central, and even northern Florida. Research continues to develop even more superior E. grandis cultivars.

Keywords


energywood, fast growth, freeze hardiness, stem form, coppicing

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283