Eurasian journal of forest research;Vol.22


Breeding a hybrid larch in Hokkaido, northern Japan

KITA, Kazuhito;MORIGUCHI, Yoshinari;KON, Hirokazu

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JaLCDOI : 10.14943/EJFR.22.19
KEYWORDS : Kuril larch;Japanese larch;wood density;carbon accumulation;Young’s modulus;Armillaria root rot


Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) is an important afforestation species in the boreal temperate zone. However, this species is sensitive to vole (Myodes rufocanus bedfordiae) gnawing and shoot blight disease by Botryosphaeria laricina. We developed the hybrid larch (L. gmelinii var. japonica × L. kaempferi) to overcome these problems. In addition to improving the resistance to vole gnawing and shoot blight disease, this hybrid showed high wood density and carbon accumulation ability, calculated with DBH, tree height, wood density, and tree number/ha. Wood density is inherited equally from the female and male parents, and growth traits are mainly inherited from the male parent. The hybrid larch exhibited a high Young’s modulus and its expected use was for medium and high-rise buildings. Hybridization rates were higher (84.2 – 94.1%) in a single maternal clone seed orchard compared to a multi-clone female and male seed orchard. We propagated nursery stocks of high carbon accumulating females (named “Clean-larch”) by rooted cutting with hybridized seedlings produced in a single maternal clone seed orchard. The hybrid larch is susceptible to Armillaria root rot. A research task left for the future is to find the optimum method for selecting the planting area for hybrid larch and Japanese larch.