Macedonian pine (MCP)
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A five-needled pine native to the mountains of the southern Balkans in northern Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia.
Limited provenance testing suggests little variation in performance so suitable seed sources are either from the native range or from good British stands.
A species with slow early growth and intermediate shade tolerance, but which is capable of sustained growth over many years. Cold hardy and frost tolerant and withstands moderate exposure. Not known to be particularly drought sensitive. Trials have shown good growth on a wide range of soil moisture from flushed peats through to podsols and sand dunes and from poor to medium soil nutrient regimes.
Appears to be resilient to a number of pests and pathogens including pine beauty moth, red band needle blight and, most significantly, white pine blister rust (Cronartium rubicola) which affects North American 5-needle pines. Like other pine species, Macedonian pine is likely to be affected by Heterobasidion root and butt rot, especially on dryer sites with mineral soils.
A species which could increase in importance with climate change, not least if other pine species are affected by disease.
Macedonian pine is categorised as a Plot-stage species. These are species that have not been planted on any significant scale but have demonstrated silvicultural characteristics in trial plots and have qualities suitable for forestry objectives to justify further testing and development.
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