Most productive forestry in the UK centres around conifers, specifically Sitka Spruce because is grows well and quickly on many sites. There has been a long term UK breeding programme which has now produced Sitka with far less branching and greater growth than the unimproved trees from Queen Charlotte Islands in Canada. Alba provides two types:
Seed Grown Sitka which is cheaper with less improvement. The tree tends to be softer and less girthy.
Vegetative Propagation (VP). Grown by cuttings from improved stock hedges, our VP trees show much greater improvement in predicted growth and the problems of loss of density have now been resolved. The trees are also much thicker and more sturdy than Seed Grown Sitka.
As the climate changes, many foresters are looking to diversify their species range and choose alternative conifers. Species such as Douglas Fir, Norway Spruce, Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock and Coastal Redwood are being grown in far larger quantities, but have more sensitive root systems than Sitka and should only be grown as cell-grown plants for the very best establishment.
The UK has a fairly poor record of growing quality timber from broadleaves as most of the focus has been on the softwood market. However, that ins now changing and Alba Trees has been working closely with breeders through the Future Trees Trust to get the best improved UK seed to market as soon as possible.
Often, broadleaves are grown for fuel and our Woodfuel and Biomass advice pages can provide more information
For information on how we source our seed, please see our Seed Sources page.
It is important that a professional approach is taken to productive forestry in order to maximise gains over a 40+ year rotation. We are delighted to recommend Buccleuch Rural Solutions as experts in Woodland planning and management, offering the full service from planting trees to marketing of timber.