Spreading the risk: species and genetic diversity

The golden rule of tree species selection; 'The right tree on the right site for the right reason'.

Today, tree pests and diseases are increasing and our climate is changing. We must act with URGENCY and plant a wider range of tree species, with a wider range of origin.

These pages can only provide you with ideas and information. There is no substitute to local site knowledge to inform forest planning and guide future planting stock requirements. It is up to forest managers to diversify forests to make them more resilient to a future climate

Take the time to look at existing 1950's, 1960's and early 1970's plantings. Foresters were not constrained by a limited palette of species. Visit your local arboreta, forest garden and botanical gardens. The species listed in the Forest Research Tree Species Advice are those where there is suffient experience of planting in England to guide sire selection. There are however many more species that foresters should consider in the future.

We have started to use a much wider range of tree species on our own land, confident that others will follow.

When thinking of tree species diversity at stand, or at a more intimate level, it could be helpful to understand natural assemblages. Many of our actions in the next few years will be experimental, using current evidence, and thoughts about what the future will bring. It is a time to have the confidence to be innovative and creative.

When considering origin of tree seed for a species it is recommended that an origin of between 2 to 5 degrees south of that currently used is found.



In the urban environment, the challenges facing trees may be more severe than in a forest environment. However there is a wider range of species to choose from. The 'Right Trees for a Changing Climate' database provides information of over 300 species to help identify suitable species for the future.

Many of the suggested tree species and origins may not be available from nurseries today. Think ahead and advise nurseries of your future requirements at least 2 years in advance

Bedgebury Pinetum

What's of interest

Forest research have made ESC 3 available with a wide range of species and the ability to test climate change scenarios. This is a low key launch to allow evaluation. Please remember that the output is only as good as your detailed input. Climate data is at a 5km square and the limiting factor may not be on your selected spot.

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