Event: alternative species in the forests of Atlantic Europe

Forest Research is organising the annual meeting of the Joint EFI ATLANTIC & IEFC

“The Role of Alternative Tree Species in the Forests of Atlantic Europe”

10th May – Science Seminar – Edinburgh (Edinburgh Capital Hotel)
11 & 12th May – Field Trip West Coast

“The impacts of pests and diseases, windthrow and climate change on the forests of Atlantic Europe are becoming increasingly evident. To achieve more resilient forests now and in the future requires the use of a wider range of tree species and appropriate silvicultural management. EFI Atlantic and IEFC members have done a significant amount of work to address species choice and forest management for the future and the REINFFORCE project has been a focus for the alternative species work. This year’s annual meeting (2017) will consider the results of this work and implications for forest policy and practice.”

“The programme allows for a one day science seminar (comprising invited presentations and voluntary contributions from EFI Atlantic partners and others) on the conference theme and then a rare opportunity to visit forest sites and experiments in the West Coast of Scotland. The forest visit will take participants by ferry across the Clyde Estuary to a long established Forest Research tree species trial at Kilmum on the Cowal Peninsula and to the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh site at Benmore. The following day we will take the ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull to see the REINFFORCE alternative species experiment and a short rotation forestry trial. The return to Edinburgh will travel through part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. This trip provides the opportunity to consider future species selection and silviculture at some unique forestry locations and also see one of the most beautiful parts of Europe’s Atlantic coast (the Holy Loch, Loch Long, Oban and the Isle of Mull).”

For information, and booking, visit Forest Research’s event page.

Dan Ridley-Ellis will present on the topic of “Bringing new species to the market place”: The timber trade is used to a small number of commercial species with properties that are relatively well known from long-standing experience. Variation in properties, resulting from factors including genetics, climate and forest management mean that, even with familiar species, large testing programmes are usually needed to generally characterise properties with statistical certainty, and provide reliable grading – especially for structural use. The European Standards are written with these common species in mind, and so the level of testing required is often disproportionate for new species – acting as a barrier to bringing new species to market, and limiting use of local timber. Existing rules and grades may also not fit very well to new species, meaning that they are not well utilised. This talk will look at the main areas of concern, the aspects to be balanced, and how things can be done better under the current Standards. It will highlight some recent developments in Standards that address issues that have come to light thanks to more work on new species. The talk will also look at the potential for a number of UK-grown ‘alternative species’, particularly for building and construction.

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