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The Cedar Club

Season 4 | Episode 7 | August 1, 2023

Foresters love a challenge! And one such challenge in eastern Northern America has always been northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis). It is an ecologically and commercially valuable tree species that can be slow-growing, tricky to regenerate, and highly susceptible to deer browse. Join us on this episode of SilviCast as we introduce you to the Cedar Club, a passionate group of forest practitioners and researchers who have been tackling the cedar management question for the past 23 years. Explore the challenges and opportunities for sustainable management of northern white-cedar.




Laura Kenefic, Ph.D.

Research Forester and Team Leader, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station 

La​​​ura Kenefic is a research forester and team leader with the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station in Maine. She has more than 100 publications on northern conifer, northern hardwood, and mixed-wood silviculture including multi-aged stand management, rehabilitation of degraded stands, and regeneration and recruitment. She has been studying northern white cedar since the early 2000s and is co-author of the Silvicultural Guide for Northern White-Cedar and the book Northern White-Cedar: The Tree of Life.​

Jean-Claude Ruel, Ph.D.

Emeritus Silviculture Professor, Laval University

Jean-Claude Ruel obtained a Ph.D. in silviculture and forest management from Université​ Laval in 1987. From 1986 to 1991, he worked with the Quebec ministry of forests as a researcher in natural forests silviculture. From 1991 until his retirement in September 2022, he was a professor in silviculture at Laval University. His main research activities focused on natural regeneration and managing windthrow risk. Beginning in 2003, he has been active in studying northern white-cedar silviculture. This work was integrated into a silviculture guide for cedar that was published in 2012. A second edition of the guide is currently under preparation.​

Charles Tardif

Vice President Manufacturing, Maibec

Charles Tardif graduated in forest engineering from Université Laval. He began his career in 1982 as a researcher at Forintek Canada Corp. Since 1984, he has held various positions at Maibec Inc., including forest operations, vice-president, Lum​ber Division, then vice-president of Cedar Division and Business Development. He now holds the position of Vice President Manufacturing. He was chairman of the board of the Quebec Lumber Manufacturers Association in 2001-02, as well as founding president of Gestion Forap Inc. (forest management company responsible for the Quebec crown land Appalachian management unit). He has been a member of several boards of directors including FP Innovations, Binational Softwood Lumber Council, and the Softwood Lumber Board. He currently serves on the Quebec Forest Industry Council, the Maine Forest Products Council, and Nouveau Brunswick Forest. He also participates in several technical committees in areas as diverse as the silviculture of Eastern white cedar to commercial relations on cedar shingles between the United States and Canada.​

​Olivier Villemaire-Côté

Institut des Sciences de la Forêt Tempérée (ISFORT-UQO)​ ​

​​​​Olivier Villemaire-Côté is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut des Sciences de la Forêt Tempérée (ISFORT-UQO) in Québec. His Ph.D. thesis (Université Laval) focused on northern white-cedar regeneration dynamics under browsing pressure in mixed forests of eastern Canada. His current research focuses on forest resilience in the face of global change, with a particular interest in regeneration problems.​​​

Victoria Hunter

Graduate Student ​, Michigan Technological University

As a graduate student at Michigan Technological University, Victoria works on MICEDAR, a Michigan DNR-funded project that is working to assess the​effects of silviculture treatments in Michigan cedar swamps to better understand factors influencing cedar regeneration and to improve forest management and cedar restoration recommendations. Victoria received a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Michigan Technological University in 2022 and will finish a master’s degree in Forest Ecology and Management in 2024. ​

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