All you ever wanted to know about tree species…

Launch of a suite of webpages giving guidance on the main characteristics of 60 tree species

News from Forest Research: March 2011

Various trees, left to right: Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis), Shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens), Macedonian pine (Pinus peuce)

A new suite of webpages has just been launched on the Forest Research website giving guidance on the main characteristics of 60 tree species. The pages focus on species that are either of current importance to British forestry or that could be used to a greater extent in the future as conditions change. The species are referenced by both their common and botanical Latin names.

Announcing the pages’ publication, Bill Mason, senior silviculturist at Forest Research, explained:

“The correct choice of tree species in relation to site characteristics and local climate is essential for successful and sustainable forest management. Climate change is expected to have a serious impact on our forests this century, particularly in southern and eastern regions where warmer summers might lead to greater risk of drought stress, creating a need for more drought-tolerant species. On the other hand, a warming climate might make it easier to grow species that were previously considered too ‘tender’ for southern and western Britain.

“The last decade has also seen a disturbing increase in the number of pests and diseases that are affecting our trees and forests, such as the damage caused by red band needle blight to Corsican and Lodgepole pines. The need to consider a wider portfolio of species is a prudent component of a management strategy that aspires to adapt our forests and woodlands to such threats.”

The webpages are at www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/treespecies

Further information will be added to the pages over the coming months.

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This and other news stories can be found in the Spring 2011 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.