Tree improvement research - collaboration and international links

European Union flagEuropean Union

In recent years we have participated in partnerships funded by the European Union. These have included both Shared Cost and Concerted Action programmes.

This work has involved:

  • Intensive study of breeding material in Douglas fir and hybrid larch
  • The genetic structure and post-glacial migration routes of European oak populations
  • Genetic variation in black poplar and Scots pine
  • The development of somatic embryogenesis techniques in Sitka spruce.

Future Trees Trust (FTT)

We participate fully in cooperative work on the breeding of broadleaved species under the above initiative.


The Forestry Commission subscribes on behalf of the United Kingdom to EUFORGEN, the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme set up in response to the Strasbourg Resolution S2. The organisation operates through species network and we are active in four of these:

  • Conifers
  • Poplars
  • Social broadleaves
  • Noble hardwoods.

Forest Enterprise

Tree Improvement researchers have a close association with Forest Enterprise who own and manage all productive seed orchards from which improved reproductive material is derived.