The ArborGen company, based in Summerville, S.C., has recently purchased the primary assets of CellFor Inc., a leading supplier of elite varietal pine tree seedlings to foresters. ArborGen is a leader in the development and commercialization of technologies designed to improve the productivity of trees.
The company says its integration of CellFor's varietal business will strengthen its position in the U.S. pine market in the Southeast. The company has several nurseries that are capable of distributing new pine varietal products at low cost. But company spokespersons also note that in addition to the Southeastern U.S. the acquisition will enable ArborGen to take superior varietal products into South America and the large China forestry market.
The company says with 20 years of data and more than 78,000 acres of forests in the U.S. and South America, its varietal products have proven benefits to landowners and commercial foresters, including improved productivity, disease resistance and log quality characteristics that can maximize the value of their timber products.
ArborGen will have initial quantities of CellFor's varietal seedlings for sale in the 2012-2013 season and the company plans for full commercialization in the following year.
The purchase of CellFor's pine seedlings is just the latest initiative for ArborGen, which has a long history of innovative tree production. The company has worked in cooperation with Clemson University to produce biogenetic tree crops for the biofuels industry. The idea is to produce cellulosic ethanol from various trees, utilizing loblolly pine, sweetgum, eucalyptus and poplar for biomass resource production.
In 2009 the company unveiled a genetically engineered eucalyptus hybrid that was designed to withstand freezing conditions of the kind often experienced in the Southeast U.S. The eucalyptus hybrid was a type that had grown sustainably in Brazil's warmer climate for years.
For more information about ArborGen and its projects, visit www.arborgen.com.