Local trees many not be best under changing climate, Forestry Commission says

Locally sourced tree material may not be the best choice when establishing new woodlands given the rate at which the environment is changing, according to a new research report by the Forestry Commission.

Climate change and the increasing prevalence of pests and diseases create further uncertainty as to the best choice of planting stock, according to Genetic considerations for provenance choice of native trees under climate change in England.

The primary consideration is to identify species which are well-suited to the environment of the planting site, then which seed source or sources of these species to use, it says.

But it emphasises the many factors impacting on this and also the many gaps in knowledge of them. "Further research into local adaptation will become increasingly important under rapid environmental change," it says.

The report can be downloaded for free from the Forestry Commission website.

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