In Britain ash was recorded as the third most common broadleaved species in the most recent Census of Woodlands and Trees, and today is the second most widely planted broadleaved tree. In Ireland a similar situation exists and the recently published National Forest Inventory results show that ash accounts for 2.8% of the forest area and is the second most widely planted species after birch.The attraction of ash is that it is native, produces valuable timber on a relatively short rotation, and grows well on suitable sites over much of lowland Britain and Ireland. However, planted trees are often poorly adapted to British and Irish conditions, originating from foreign stock. FTT hopes to address this problem by providing the forester with superior planting stock of local provenance where appropriate.
To this end, we have set ourselves the following targets:
- To select 500 superior individuals on a regional basis across Great Britain and Ireland, matching the current guidelines issued by the Forestry Commission and the Forest Service.
- To collect reproductive material from the selected trees either as seed for progeny trials, or scion material for the development of clone banks for gene conservation and the establishment of clonal seed orchards.
- To establish breeding seedling seed orchards to provide seed from tested progenies for the forest industry.
- To investigate adaptation to climate change.