A NEW woodland will be planted to aid research into securing a future for some of the UK’s most important broadleaved tree species. 

The National Trust and the Future Trees Trust will use oak, sycamore, silver birch, hornbeam, beech and blackthorn to create the site in South Oxfordshire. 

Situated on a National Trust 21-hectare plot, it will see healthy individuals with better form and growth rates selected across the country and assessed over many years in research trials.

John Deakin, head of trees and woodlands at the National Trust, said: “The National Trust cares for tens of thousands of hectares of trees and woodlands, as well as having an ambition to establish 20 million trees by 2030. 

“This exciting partnership will not only help to directly contribute to the achievement of that target but will also allow us to contribute more widely by supporting the Future Trees Trust to make available the highest-quality trees to the wider tree and woodland sector.” 

Superior trees are used to establish seed orchards which produce improved seed, also known as Qualified and Tested Forest Reproductive Material (FRM). Trees grown from improved seed have faster growth and an increased rate of sequestering carbon. Their improved form means they can be used in productive forestry to grow future home-grown wood products that act as long-term carbon stores. 

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John McLaughlin, CEO of Future Trees Trust, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Future Trees Trust. For the first time in our history we will be taking direct control of land, which will really help deliver our 10-year strategy.  

“Working with such a renowned organisation as the National Trust will increase awareness of our work.”