Pine trees without the pine cones? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pine trees without the pine cones?

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Wayne Hanna has been for working to produce a coneless pine tree Wayne Hanna has been for working to produce a coneless pine tree
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TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

A Turfgrass scientist from Tifton is working to breed a tree with pine cones or pollen.  For the past nine years, Wayne Hanna has been working to produce a coneless pine tree. 

Hanna says it would prevent spending time picking up pine cones.   

"I walked in the house and told my wife, 'I'm not going to be picking up pine cones every Saturday morning for the rest of my life'. So, the next week I started this project," he said.  

Hanna, a professor with the University of Georgia in Tifton, says there are many benefits to having a coneless pine tree.  

"But gradually you will be able to produce trees in your yard without pollen and immediately have trees not shedding pollen and hopefully help allergies."    

Hanna and his team conduct experiments in a field of about 250 trees. Some trees are producing few cones and some not at all.    

"We use gamma radiation to try to sterilize the plants and now we are planting in the fields since 2006 and we're waiting and watching for the right plant."  

Hanna says there is still more research and testing before a seedless pine tree will be available. He hopes they'll sell all over the U.S.  

"Nurseries or big box stores could sell them or market them if that's who licenses them."  

Hanna hopes to produce enough trees so they can be available to the public at a low cost, but it will be another three to five years before the perfect coneless pine tree is ready.

 

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