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To provide physical and financial information on the establishment and maintenance of small farm woodlands - WD0101

(New code WD0112)

In general, forestry experience is based on conifer woodlands in the uplands. There is a general lack of expertise/experience on low land deciduous woodlands. The first problem is establishment. In the upland context this is usually accepted as the first 5 years, before the trees can be left to develop without annual site management. In the lowlands, with wider row planting, it could well be longer than this before they reach the thicket stage.

There is a need to obtain physical and financial information on the establishment and maintenance of farm woodlands on various soil types, particularly on former arable lowland. There is a need to be able to give sound advice to farmers on site preparation and establishment of appropriate species for farm woodland sites involved in grant aided schemes. Systems for enhancing the product value of farm woodlands can then be developed. Activities on R&D sites could evaluate potential environmental and amenity value of farm woodlands as well as timber production. There is a particular need to address problems of planting techniques and weed control in new plantations.

This project aims to develop guidance for those entering the Farm Woodland Scheme on the establishment and early maintenance of trees by the evaluation of methods and selection of species appropriate to different soil types and situation.
To identify tree species (or mixture of species) suitable for 3 types of farm situations representative of those likely to enter the Farm Woodland Scheme by comparison of survival and early growth. To identify methods of site preparation, planting and early site management suitable for the establishment of trees on three different soil types by comparison of survival and early growth. To identify the appropriate size seedling/ transplant to achieve ideal establishment at lowest cost. To provide a preliminary assessment of the applicability of the Forestry Commission Upland recommendation to the lowland situation. To identify efficacious safe combinations of residual or contact herbicides and ground flora management techniques for use in newly planted woodlands. To evaluate the ability of short rotation poplars to aid the environmentally satisfactory disposal of pig slurry. As a secondary objective to provide support to the Forestry Commission trial on Hylobius control.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1991

To: 1995

Cost: £906,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Fields of Study
Farm Woodlands