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Hayes launches future strategy for Broadleaf Trees

Minister of State for Forestry, Tom Hayes TD today launched a Future Strategy for Broadleaves at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin. The strategy has been drafted by the Future Trees Trust,a UK/Ireland collaborative body, which includes the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Teagasc. The overall aim of the strategy is to establish improved broadleaved trees as an integral part of British and Irish woodlands, which will in the long-term contribute to more productive forests with improved wood quality.

Speaking at the launch today Minister Hayes stated “At the outset I want to say that my Department very much welcomes a future with broadleaved trees, having well-adapted and high quality broadleaf planting stock is fundamental to any national afforestation programme. We all know that growing broadleaves tends to be a long term business, but it has an objective of producing high quality wood products. Having the right planting stock on day one is a key element in successful broadleaf planting.”  

He added that “As a government department that is funding a national afforestation programme aimed at increasing forest cover from the current 11% to over 17% by mid century, we recognise the importance of using selected and well adapted tree species, both native and introduced, conifer and broadleaved. This is even more important when we consider the potential impacts of climate change.”

He noted that “The advent of new pressures on our native trees, such as ash and oak, shows the importance of working on tree selection and improvement as ways to address these issues. On the research side my Department has funded research on broadleaf tree improvement through successive COFORD programmes. And it is glad to be able to support the work of the Trust, as well as participation by Irish experts in the species groups, which include ash, birch, cherry, oak, sycamore and Spanish chestnut.”

Note to editors: 

For further information please contact Dr Eugene Hendrick eugene.hendrick@agriculture.gov.ie. The strategy is available at www.coford.ie      

added 06.11.13

Pictured above:

Graham Taylor, Future Tree Trust, Tom Hayes TD, Minister of State, Mathew Jebb, Director of the National Botanical Gardens

Date Released: 06 November 2013