The 70s were notable for a number of things. Flared trousers, gull-winged shirts, kipper ties, and in forestry – ploughing. The aforementioned dubious fashion items are making a comeback; and so too is ploughing, and similar forms of unsightly forestry …
Trees and climate change are inexorably linked, trees sequester carbon, it is politically expedient to plant millions of trees to take up carbon dioxide, it is easy and feels good to plant a tree to offset your emissions.
The carbon sequestration capacity of a tree is dependent on how well matched the tree species is to the site in which it is planted and the rate at which the tree grows naturally. Fast growing conifers will sequester carbon dioxide faster than slower growing broadleaved trees however the fast-growing conifers are generally harvested at 40 or so years, whilst productive broadleaves such as oak may be harvested over a rotation of 200 years. And the fate of the timber products determines how effectively and for how long carbon is stored; conifer products include construction timber, pallet wood, fencing, pulp wood, chip wood and biomass (for energy creation), some of which are short life cycle products and hardwood products used for furniture, internal finishing, fencing and firewood also have variable carbon storage lifecycles.
FPG welcomes the Scottish Governments commitment to fighting climate change through its policy of planting more trees to help achieve Net Zero emissions by 2045, there is a however. The expansions of industrial Sitka spruce monoculture - and the cultivation techniques employed to establish plantations on Scotland’s most effective carbon store – peat - is currently the subject of some heated debate and FPG have been fortunate in being funded by the Pebble Trust to take a closer look at the regulation, guidance, practice and science of planting on peaty soils.