Skip to main content

Researchers Discover a Tree That Hugs You Back

Belltower and trees to the east of campus.
Belltower and trees to the east of campus.

April Fools’!

Okay, okay, trees can’t actually hug you back. However, our faculty and staff at the College of Natural Resources are researching trees that could metaphorically hug your wallet and the North Carolina economy.

  • Lillian Matallana is trying to pinpoint the genes responsible for needle retention in Christmas trees and one day hopes to alter them. Would you be more likely to buy a real Christmas tree if the needles didn’t fall off and make a mess?
  • Kevin Potter found that tree diversity can help regulate nonnative forest pests.
  • How can we modify wood properties as well as make forests more disease- and pest-resistant? Researchers with NC State’s Forest Biotechnology Group have uncovered a complex network of transcription factors that can switch wood formation genes on and off, providing a possible solution.
  • In collaboration with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, our researchers and Extension agents are bringing life back into the once flourishing longleaf pine population through prescribed burns. 

More From College of Natural Resources News