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15 February 2010

Plant foreign trees 'to save our forests'

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SCOTTISH forests should be replanted with Lebanon cedars, Italian elders and Macedonian pines and not native species, according to a leading expert in a Forestry Commission study.

The imported trees must form a vital part of a dramatic expansion of tree cover as global warming changes the Scottish environment, says Professor Sir David Read.

Wet climate species such as Scots pines and native oaks could struggle to grow as temperatures increase and the environment becomes drier, suggests Read, a former vice-president of the Royal Society, in a report for the Forestry Commission.

He is now calling for trials of more exotic species from southern Europe to see which would thrive best in a changing Scottish landscape.


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