National Geographic : 1956 Sep
320 A Wartime Flying Fortress Lays a Cloud of DDT Across an Insect-infested Forest For only a few days in summer does the spruce budworm come out in the open where spray can catch him. In two weeks this B-17 and 13 other planes treated 170,000 acres in Bitterroot National Forest, Montana. With waterproof paper overlays, technicians now can give low-grade lumber a smooth surface. "Think of the bleachers at a ball park," said Dr. J. Alfred Hall, laboratory director. "Personally, when I do, I think about splin ters. Our new board offers bleacherites of the future a new freedom of action." Inevitably, the Forest Products Laboratory developed close ties with forest geneticists, since it is possible to grow wood for individual uses. If a livestock breeder can develop one hog for lean hams and another for lard, why should not a tree breeder be able to perform the equivalent forestry miracle? Tree hybridization holds limitless promise. At Placerville, California, in experimental nurseries of the Forest Service's Institute of Forest Genetics, I saw a row of trees that pro fessional foresters with me could not identify. F. I. (Pete) Righter, in charge of the institute, finally told them it was a three-way hybrid of ponderosa, Jeffrey, and Coulter pines, pro duced by hand-pollination (page 291). "It grows fast like Coulter," said Pete, "and shows promise of having the better wood quality of the other two parents. Some day we may have whole forests of this or some thing even better, turning out quality timber at a rate unknown in nature."