Forestry body Confor is seeking industry views on the guidance required to inform future planting/replanting decisions in the wake of threats to trees and timber species from pests and diseases.
The Forestry Commission lists 14 new tree pests/diseases that have arrived in the last 16 years, plus five more waiting in the wings. In response, Confor is asking how can forestry manage the threats, while providing for financial sustainability.
A series of meetings are being held to discuss the issues.
Caroline Harrison, Confor’s lead on plant health, said: "It is vital that we tackle this subject holistically, with knowledge not only of likely alternative species and their viability, both hardwood and softwood, but also their timber qualities and possible future demands. Tree breeders, researchers, growers and timber-users have contributed to background papers to aid discussion and will participate in the meetings.
"Confor is in discussion with Forest Research about guidance that the sector requires to cover all these aspects. These meetings will further inform this process. Everyone is welcome to contribute their views by emailing me."