We Need Better Trees

We bring resources together
to accelerate the use of stress adapted trees.

The health of many forests around the world is declining because of stresses brought on by changing climates and invasive diseases and pests. There are several large research projects working to understand how trees respond to the climate and biotic stressors at a genetic level. This information can help identify vulnerable forests, enhance gene conservation to facilitate future adaptation, improve assisted migration efforts, and breed for adaptation.

Too often good research gets lost along the path to operational use. Connecting this research to downstream users will speed up the process of showing on-the-ground value for research money spent, and increase the chance of operationalizing research discoveries. The Tree Genes Initiative (TGI) brings experts together to identify obstacles, collaboration opportunities, and communicate unmet needs to organizations including those funding research, setting forest policy, and managing forest resources.

At its core the TGI is a consortium of organizations engaged in the research, growth, deployment, and management of stress-adapted trees. Consortium experts include forest biotechnologists, tree breeders, forest growers, and forest managers. The TGI fosters communication among organizations throughout the research-management chain, and to outside stakeholders.

The TGI includes all points along the research-stewardship chain

The TGI works for on-the-ground changes by conveying practical information in a timely manner to stakeholders. This is accomplished by identifying current efforts, needs, and obstacles to using stress adapted trees.

Upstream Research Midstream Growth Downstream Use
Funding agencies Land owners Timber management companies
Forest biotechnologists Forest growers Forest products companies
Tree breeders Forest managers Federal land management agencies


The TGI was launched in 2014. The first report will be available mid 2015

The TGI Process

The TGI has a simp 5-7 person steering committee develops the work products. Two permanent members, one from the IFB and one from the U.S. Forest Service provide continuity on the Steering Committee. The other members are representatives from the consortium group that rotate on an annual basis. This fast rotation schedule ensures that each consortium member has an opportunity to serve on the Steering Committee over time.


Adam Costanza - Institute of Forest Biosciences Keith Woeste - U.S. Forest Service

Steering Committee Members

Jean Bousquet - Laval University
Gary Peter - University of Florida
Barry Goldfarb - NC State University
Glenn Howe - Oregon State Univeristy

This project is co-sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and the Institute of Forest Biosciences.
Contact us if you would like to participate in the TGI


While we need a lot more stress-adapted trees on the landscape, there are some available for planting in same parts of north America. There are also helpful tools and guides to help make better climate and pest smart decisons for our forests.

Contact us to suggest a resource be added to this list.

Contact Us

We are always interested in hear people's thoughts about the TGI and stress adapted trees. If you work anywhere along the value chain of researching, growing, and using stress adapted, please consider joining the TGI Consortium.

Contact Susan McCord for more information: susan.mccord@forestbiotech.org