Future Trees Trust, Earth Trust and Forest Research have launched a strategy to "improve" Britain's broadleaved trees, both to resist pest, disease and climate pressure and to increase self-sufficiency in hardwoods.
"A Future for Broadleaved Trees" was officially launched in the House of Commons on Wednesday 9 October, and is also supported by Ireland's forestry services.
Its three objectives are:
- A selection and breeding programme across the woodland sector, leading to trees that are more productive and reslient while retaining genetic diversity;
- Greater awareness and availability of such improved trees;
- Policy measures to boost their use.
Forest Research chief executive Dr James Pendlebury said: "Just as animals and crops have always been bred to enhance desirable traits, the same thing can be done with trees. But it takes a lot longer to achieve results so we need to act now if we want to secure the future of our broadleaf tree populations."