‘There is no oak left’: are Britain’s trees disappearing?

By Fiona Harvey and Sandra Laville
The first national ‘tree champion’ is charged with reversing the fortunes of the country’s woodlands and beleaguered urban trees.

England is running out of oak. The last of the trees planted by the Victorians are now being harvested, and in the intervening century so few have been grown – and fewer still grown in the right conditions for making timber – that imports, mostly from the US and Europe, are the only answer.

“We are now using the oaks our ancestors planted, and there has been no oak coming up to replace it,” says Mike Tustin, chartered forester at John Clegg and Co, the woodland arm of estate agents Strutt and Parker. “There is no oak left in England. There just is no more.”

Earlier this month, the government appointed the first “tree champion”, who will spearhead its plans to grow 11 million new trees, and conserve existing forests and urban trees. Sir William Worsley, currently chairman of the National Forest Company, has been given the task of overseeing trees in England and Wales, including England’s iconic national tree, and ensuring that trees are not felled unnecessarily. Worsley is a former chief of the Country Land and Business Association, which represents landowners and rural businesses.

Source: ‘There is no oak left’: are Britain’s trees disappearing? – The Guardian, 2018-06-27

To increase forest carbon capture, harvest trees less and less often – but still harvest

“When we shift to forestry practices that less frequently harvest smaller amounts of wood from each acre, this leads to 14 to 33 percent more carbon be stored over the next 100 years. This happens because trees would be allowed to grow older and larger and store more carbon than typically happens under current practices,”

Source: To increase forest carbon capture, harvest trees less and less often – but still harvest – Granite Geek, 2018-05-29

Montana, feds agree on habitat conservation plan for grizzlies, lynx, bull trout

A few more timber projects may move ahead on Montana state forests, even where they are in critical habitat for endangered species, under terms of a new state-federal conservation agreement. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released the final draft of an EIS that outlines management guidelines for more than 620,000 acres of state forests.

Source: Montana, feds agree on habitat conservation plan for grizzlies, lynx, bull trout – Missoula Current

Introducing the National Extension Forestry & Wood Products Directory

We are pleased to introduce a new way for Extension agents across the United States to connect with each other: the Extension Forestry and Wood Products Directory, a national network of over 300 extension forestry and wood products specialists, educators, and leaders. Collectively, these personnel cover 48 areas of forestry and wood products specialties and 16 areas of extension program development, delivery, and evaluation.

This directory has been compiled to identify Extension personnel and their specialties, to better serve those seeking information about forests and wood products, and to facilitate multi-state, regional, and national program collaborations. Users are able to search the directory by name, institution, location, and specialty, and directory information can be exported into various formats for later reference.

We hope that this resource encourages collaboration, partnership, and innovation between Extension personnel nationally and across regions. Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.

If you’d like to have your information included in the directory, please submit your info. Contact Eric Norland (enorland@nifa.usda.gov) if you have any questions regarding the directory.

Source: Introducing the National Extension Forestry & Wood Products Directory — Southern Regional Extension Forestry, 2017-12-15

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park now infesting commercial forest

By Bob Weber
A massive and uncontrollable buildup of mountain pine beetles in Jasper National Park is starting to explode into commercially valuable forests along its boundaries.

Foresters along the park’s edge have seen a tenfold increase in beetle infestation in just months, and some scientists wonder if Parks Canada could have done more to control the invasion a few years ago.

“They decided to consider the pine beetle a ‘native disturbance agent,”‘ said Allan Carroll, who has studied the beetles since the late 1990s and directs the University of British Columbia’s Forest Science program. “In other words, Jasper was not intending to do much about it.”

No end to pine beetle battle in Alberta, experts say
In an emailed statement, Parks Canada said it has had a beetle management plan for the park since 2015 that includes prescribed burns and tree removal.

Too little, too late, said Carroll.

“Just that hesitation intrinsic to producing a management plan precluded any effective outcomes.”

Source: Pine beetles from Jasper National Park now infesting commercial forest – CBC News, 2017-11-17

Vikings Razed the Forests. Can Iceland Regrow Them?

By Henry Fountain
The country lost most of its trees long ago. Despite years of replanting, it isn’t making much progress.

The country lost most of its trees more than a thousand years ago, when Viking settlers took their axes to the forests that covered one-quarter of the countryside. Now Icelanders would like to get some of those forests back, to improve and stabilize the country’s harsh soils, help agriculture and fight climate change.

But restoring even a portion of Iceland’s once-vast forests is a slow and seemingly endless task. Despite the planting of three million or more trees in recent years, the amount of land that is covered in forest — estimated at about 1 percent at the turn of the 20th century, when reforestation was made a priority — has barely increased.

Source: Vikings Razed the Forests. Can Iceland Regrow Them? – New York Times 2017-10-20