The video below is a little on the cheesy side, but it’s an interesting take on the making of a baseball bat from White Ash trees. I thought I would post it to you in honor of the professional baseball postseason in the United States right now. Ash trees across the Eastern United States, and particularly in Pennsylvania, are quickly being destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle which spreads fungal infections from tree to tree, so many baseball bat manufacturers are moving to using Sugar Maple.
There is a difference between the wood structure (i.e. cell wall morphology) between Ash and Maple and these slight differences in the wood grain effect how the ball is hit and how far it goes or how much control a batter has over where a ball is hit; at least some players tend to prefer one type of wood over another.
The Schatz Tree Genetics Colloquium is a biennial meeting focusing on the genetics of trees. The purpose of this colloquium series is to advance the knowledge of tree genetics, breeding, and ecology, with each biennial meeting focusing on a specific family, genus, or species of tree (s).
I’m just returning from the New Phytologist “Bioenergy Trees” symposium, which just took place from May 17th to 19th at INRA in Nancy, Lorraine, France, and I am pleased to say was a very productive meeting. Due to technical difficulties, I was not able to contribute to the online updates via Twitter, but if you’d like to follow the meeting developments you can read the Twitter feeds using the hashtag #26NPS or following @NewPhyt.