Britain could be in a state of "deforestation"

A leading grower has said 8m trees could be destroyed - and the HTA believes fewer are being planted - because of uncertainties with Government grants.

Matt Hommel
Matt Hommel

Matt Hommel, the managing director of Christie-Elite at Forres in Moray, said he is about to burn 1.5m trees or 30 per cent of his stock and estimates up to 8m trees across Britain could be destroyed.

Hommel said last year there were too many disincentives and the tree grant system was too chaotic and that this has now led to a crisis point.

HTA figures show tree planting will collapse to 1,600ha in 2016. The HTA warned last month this could lead to young trees being destroyed.

HTA horticulture head Raoul Curtis-Machin said: "In Scotland where this has been most drastic in terms of a lack of planting nurseires like Christies-Elite are struggling. Eight or nine million trees are being destroyed and the number being planted might be fewer so Britain could actually be in a state of deforestation."

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