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New Ornamental Tung Tree Available

Agricultural Research Service | USDA - Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:08am
New Ornamental Tung Tree Available / April 14, 2014 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service Read the magazine story to find out more.

ARS has released Anna Bella, the first ornamental tung tree that produces virtually no nuts, which are toxic if ingested and pose a mowing hazard if left on the ground. Click the image for more information about it.

New Ornamental Tung Tree Available

By Jan Suszkiw
April 14, 2014

Anna Bella may herald a new generation of ornamental tung tree varieties suitable for landscape uses in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) molecular geneticist Timothy Rinehart, Anna Bella marks a first in ornamental tung releases because it is sterile and produces virtually no nuts, which are toxic if ingested and pose a mowing hazard if left on the ground.

From the late 1920s to early 1970s, tung trees had been grown commercially on plantations across the Gulf Coast area as a nut-based source of high-quality oil for paints, varnishes, lacquers, wood finishes and other industrial products. A convergence of factors ultimately scuttled the tung oil industry there, but nostalgia for Vernicia fordii, as the native Chinese tree is known scientifically, has lingered to this day.

The downside to planting tung as an ornamental has been the nuts, which are no longer harvested for their oil, notes Rinehart, with the Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Research Laboratory operated in Poplarville, Miss., by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Anna Bella, which is adapted to conditions in the South, can reach nearly 40 feet tall and opens into an umbrella-shaped canopy of lush, heart-shaped leaves. It blooms in late spring, producing clusters of white, long-lasting flowers tinged in the centers with yellow or red. The new variety requires little maintenance, bounces back well from pruning, and can withstand common insect pests and diseases.

It is ideal for both single specimen and row plantings, such as in backyards and along roadsides or property boundaries. Because it produces no seed, the variety is unlikely to persist beyond intended planting sites, a characteristic that may encourage wider acceptance of the tree species as an ornamental offering.

Rinehart has already received requests from a few specialty nurseries interested in propagating the variety.

Read more about this research in the April 2014 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

HACCP in an Hour

HACCP in an Hour 

Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar               

Date: May 29, 2014

Time: 1pm Eastern (12 Central, 11am Mountain, 10am Pacific) 

Duration: 1 hour

To attend: Go to 5-10 minutes before start time and log in as a guest. 


All NMPAN webinars are free and open to the public.



HACCP — Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point — has been around for decades as a food safety management system in many different industries. Starting in 2000, USDA required all inspected meat & poultry establishment to have a HACCP plan in place and to follow that plan. So what is it? How does it work? What are the basics? 

On this webinar, you’ll learn the ABCs of HACCP — vocabulary and basic concepts — from an experienced HACCP instructor, Jonathan Campbell from Penn State University. If you’re a farmer or rancher who brings animals to an inspected processor, if you’re thinking you might want to get into the processing business, or if you just want to know what the heck HACCP actually is, this webinar is for you.

Jonathan Campbell is Meat Science Extension Specialist at Penn State University and a member of NMPAN’s Advisory Board. 

For more information: email Kathryn Quanbeck, NMPAN Program Manager: kathryn.quanbeck[at]oregonstate[dot]edu

How to join NMPAN: go to the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network website, type your email address into the box on the right, and click "subscribe."


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