Tree thieves disrupt planting work

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16 MARCH 2011NEWS RELEASE No: 14491

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Forestry Commission Wales is appealing for help to catch thieves who have pinched thousands of trees destined for our forests.

The thieves are taking the trees before they can be placed in the ground and are disrupting the Commission’s work to plant more than three million trees all over Wales.

FC Wales is increasing the variety of trees it plants annually to make our forests more resilient to the effects of climate change, and the species that have gone missing include Western Red Cedar, Norway and Sitka spruce, as well as mixed broadleaves.

They are among over 30 species being planted in Wales ranging from spruces, pines, firs, broadleaves and some new species such as Macedonian Pine and Redwoods.

The trees are stored in secure sheds but are delivered to site and left for contractors to plant when they are needed.

FC Wales Silviculture Operations Manager Neil Muir said FC Wales was working hard to increase species diversity within Assembly Government woodlands as part of its efforts to tackle climate change.

“In the past, there have been isolated cases where a few bags have been taken, but this year there have been several thousand gone missing, which is unusual,” he said.

“This causes problems as it means more trees have to be sourced, at additional cost, which is frustrating for staff and contractors as it takes time for the replacements to be found.

“A lot of planning goes into these operations and we would appreciate it if people could contact us on 0300 0680300 if they see anything suspicious.”

Most of the trees have been taken from a range of sites in the Llandovery and Welshpool areas.


About 14 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email