Climate change and the increasing prevalence of pests and diseases are generating considerable uncertainty regarding the seed origin of planting stock for new woodland establishment in England. The assumption that locally sourced material provides the most appropriate option is increasingly being called into question because the environment to which trees are adapted is changing rapidly. It has been proposed that seed should be collected from warmer and drier environments than the planting site – a practice which can be termed ‘assisted migration’. This Research Report provides a review of published results from provenance tests of relevance to English native trees to identify factors which may influence the risk, suitability and desirability of the use of local versus non-local seed under climate change.
The Forestry Commission, Natural England and the Woodland Trust have produced a Policy Advice Note on this publication, which is available from GOV.UK.