Biodiversity conservation at Alice Holt nurseries

Working to conserve Torreya taxifolia, the stinking cedar

News from Forest Research: February 2008

Seedlings in nursery
Propagation of Torreya taxifolia.

As part of a programme of work for the Forestry Commission’s arboreta, Forest Research staff at Alice Holt are working with Bedgebury National Pinetum to conserve Torreya taxifolia, the stinking cedar, an endangered conifer that is native to the Florida Panhandle. It is a member of the yew family (Taxaceae), and since the 1950s there has been a sharp decline in native stands of Torreya taxifolia to the extent that all  full-sized mature individuals have perished and seed production is extremely rare in the wild.

Forest Research specialists are currently propagating Torreya cuttings in the intensive nursery facility at Alice Holt and will shortly be establishing a stock hedge to provide a ‘bank’ of genetic material that can be used for future propagation work.

Elsewhere in the nursery, a small-leafed lime (Tilia cordata) stock hedge, which was established in 1986 from material collected from native woodlands in Hampshire, is once again being used to produce planting material for native woodland restoration work in Hampshire.

Read more about Forest Research's nursery facilities and services


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This and other news stories can be found in the February 2008 issue of FR Eye, our online newsletter.