Trees - the fantasy and the reality


Not really new to many on here, but not everything on the BBC website is nonsense. Not sure it’ll make it to the BBC TV channels though……
seen it on facebook, shared by Gareth Wyn Jones, my comment

when I was a student in the 80's we had a talk from VSO. The girl giving the talk told us then, about a forestry planting project that was supposedly a great success, however on the ground all the trees died. So this has been going on for years and years. If we really want to sequester Carbon, more cattle and "mob" grazing, but that doesn't fit the "cows cause climate change" narrative which suits the multinational food corporations that manufacture the ultra processed "vegan" food!
 
In the 90s I was involved in trying to put in commercial plantations on basically barren moorland in the South Pennines the idea was a way of providing a crop to landowners, slowing the flow and helping with erosion. Very difficult sell as at the time the landowners seemed to prefer having a few sheep and grouse wondering around their 10,000s of acres. There was also much resistance from oddly enough from the RSPB. Some of the plantings that did go ahead are now looking great - sadly just not enough of them but as they say "when is the best time to plant a tree? ans 20 years ago - when is the 2nd best time to plant a tree? ans today!
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
In the 90s I was involved in trying to put in commercial plantations on basically barren moorland in the South Pennines the idea was a way of providing a crop to landowners, slowing the flow and helping with erosion. Very difficult sell as at the time the landowners seemed to prefer having a few sheep and grouse wondering around their 10,000s of acres. There was also much resistance from oddly enough from the RSPB. Some of the plantings that did go ahead are now looking great - sadly just not enough of them but as they say "when is the best time to plant a tree? ans 20 years ago - when is the 2nd best time to plant a tree? ans today!

And when is the best time to plant large areas of land with sterile Sitka plantations

Answer is never!!
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Not many farmers plant a mix in a field. May not be an ideal situation but is perhaps better than no crop at all, wheat, sugar beet or Sitka

Over the lifetime of the trees - the same land in grass/heather with grazing livestock will capture and store/lock more carbon.

Farmland keeps rural communities alive - tees kill them by the loss of jobs


Blanket commercial forestry is bad for the country.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
but farmers need timber like everyone else, as far as evergreen goes, why cant they plant the likes of pine ,ie better quality , slower growing i suppose:unsure:
I try each year to plant as many and a few more than i cut down.

Fact is Since CCA treatment was stopped here consumption musrve gone up big time for utility use

and all this big time burning of it , (and i don't mean log burners either :sneaky:)
 

egbert

Member
Over the lifetime of the trees - the same land in grass/heather with grazing livestock will capture and store/lock more carbon.

Farmland keeps rural communities alive - tees kill them by the loss of jobs


Blanket commercial forestry is bad for the country.
Will land capture more carbon in grass/heather? Absolutely not from what I see.
Does managed forestry give less employment than hill livestock? Depends on level of management.
If my place was covered in timber, managed inhouse, I'd be employing more labour than I currently do chasing a few sheep and coos. And I'd be making an honest profit.

Accept that the animosity within hill livestock communities is driven by historic -some recent historic- events and trends.
Elsewhere, forestry and farming have gone hand in hand for centuries.
 

thorpe

Member
Will land capture more carbon in grass/heather? Absolutely not from what I see.
Does managed forestry give less employment than hill livestock? Depends on level of management.
If my place was covered in timber, managed inhouse, I'd be employing more labour than I currently do chasing a few sheep and coos. And I'd be making an honest profit.

Accept that the animosity within hill livestock communities is driven by historic -some recent historic- events and trends.
Elsewhere, forestry and farming have gone hand in hand for centuries.
honest profit ?
 
Over the lifetime of the trees - the same land in grass/heather with grazing livestock will capture and store/lock more carbon.

Farmland keeps rural communities alive - tees kill them by the loss of jobs


Blanket commercial forestry is bad for the country.

I should think the only parts of some tree planting schemes that will ever lock away any carbon will be in the form of the fudging plastic tree guards that will remain there for the next 3000 years.
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Will land capture more carbon in grass/heather? Absolutely not from what I see.
Does managed forestry give less employment than hill livestock? Depends on level of management.
If my place was covered in timber, managed inhouse, I'd be employing more labour than I currently do chasing a few sheep and coos. And I'd be making an honest profit.

Accept that the animosity within hill livestock communities is driven by historic -some recent historic- events and trends.
Elsewhere, forestry and farming have gone hand in hand for centuries.

For every kg of wool grown - that alone is 1.5kgs of carbon sequestered.

1 Sitka tree may only get to 1t when felled... but will lost 30-40% rapidly (moisture content).

1,000 ewes running on a hill for the last 100 years removes more carbon than trees on the equivalent land ever could... and that's before you take into account what the grass and soils do - or peat!!

And remember, wool is a forever product once used.

Most trees are now being burned for power - releasing 100% of all carbon which was painfully slowly captured over the previous 40years of growth 🤦🏻‍♂️it is f**king pointless



What management 'in house' could you do if your farm was planted, to give you an income between the grant for planting and the crop being felled?? Thinnings are worth very little
 

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
There are benefits to tree planting and some areas would benefit by having more trees but I don't think the general public appreciate in reality, the affect they have on the landscape, views, light and mental health.
I've recently trimmed hedges that haven't been done for a few years. This has cut the height from about 12' down to 6'. The impact on my outlook, in every way, is huge.
There is a reason why many properties are advertised as overlooking open countryside whereas I've never seen one promoted as being surrounded by trees.
 

egbert

Member
honest profit ?
my livestock can scarcely hold their head above water.
My farming profits - which are often considerable- are almost wholly subsidy driven.
For every kg of wool grown - that alone is 1.5kgs of carbon sequestered.

1 Sitka tree may only get to 1t when felled... but will lost 30-40% rapidly (moisture content).

1,000 ewes running on a hill for the last 100 years removes more carbon than trees on the equivalent land ever could... and that's before you take into account what the grass and soils do - or peat!!

And remember, wool is a forever product once used.

Most trees are now being burned for power - releasing 100% of all carbon which was painfully slowly captured over the previous 40years of growth 🤦🏻‍♂️it is f**king pointless



What management 'in house' could you do if your farm was planted, to give you an income between the grant for planting and the crop being felled?? Thinnings are worth very little
Off 600 hectares, I produce about a tonne of wool a year.
A half decent sitka plantation is doing 10-15 tonnes of harvestable mass per hectare per year.
I forget the conversion equation to give you a carbon tonnage, but it blows wool, and livestock, and peat out of the window.
I'm not advocating, or supporting blanket monocultures, but the numbers are there for anyone to see.

'In house managed forestry'?
Perhaps you think everything is like the plant/neglect/clearfell abomination as practised in most UK upland forestry.
Go to the alps, go to scandinavia, see how it can be done.

Look, i'm a multi-generational hill livestockman. I couldn't be much more immersed in it.
But I do wish some of us would be a bit less blinkered about growing trees as a crop.
What I've planted has been some of the best work I've ever done...in shelter terms if nothing else.
We need to see the benefits, and farm them accordingly....not allow the rewilding/carbon credit fraudsters et al dictate nonsensical policy
 

egbert

Member
If your place was covered in long term managed forestry, would the income stream enable you to afford to pay that labour?
My sawmill business is currently paying £140-150/tonne for softwood logs*- on the open market -no bigger than stuff I've planted myself.
*I'm paying more for some hardwood logs, but am too far up the hill to grow the quality.

If I'd planted the whole place as a young man, I'd now be turning over hundreds of thousands a year in round timber sales.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
There are benefits to tree planting and some areas would benefit by having more trees but I don't think the general public appreciate in reality, the affect they have on the landscape, views, light and mental health.
I've recently trimmed hedges that haven't been done for a few years. This has cut the height from about 12' down to 6'. The impact on my outlook, in every way, is huge.
There is a reason why many properties are advertised as overlooking open countryside whereas I've never seen one promoted as being surrounded by trees.
'tother way around here, we're planting strategically here and there ,for privacy/ to stop being overlooked, so many new housing developments around about now :(
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
And when is the best time to plant large areas of land with sterile Sitka plantations

Answer is never!!
Its just a crop, not that much different than continuous maize for an AD plant or a wheat OSR two crop rotation, its just longer until harvest. When the crop is harvested it could (silly rules aside) be put back into Agriculture.
It provides jobs too, perhaps even more than extensively farmed sheep?

You don't want the whole country covered in them and they need to be managed properly (just like a farm) but I don't understand the hate.
 

Nithsdale Farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
my livestock can scarcely hold their head above water.
My farming profits - which are often considerable- are almost wholly subsidy driven.

Off 600 hectares, I produce about a tonne of wool a year.
A half decent sitka plantation is doing 10-15 tonnes of harvestable mass per hectare per year.
I forget the conversion equation to give you a carbon tonnage, but it blows wool, and livestock, and peat out of the window.
I'm not advocating, or supporting blanket monocultures, but the numbers are there for anyone to see.

'In house managed forestry'?
Perhaps you think everything is like the plant/neglect/clearfell abomination as practised in most UK upland forestry.
Go to the alps, go to scandinavia, see how it can be done.

Look, i'm a multi-generational hill livestockman. I couldn't be much more immersed in it.
But I do wish some of us would be a bit less blinkered about growing trees as a crop.
What I've planted has been some of the best work I've ever done...in shelter terms if nothing else.
We need to see the benefits, and farm them accordingly....not allow the rewilding/carbon credit fraudsters et al dictate nonsensical policy


Having little blocks here or there isn't what govt want though is it. 70,000acres a year into trees is the target isn't it?

Shelter strips, or unusable corners/banks is different to blanket planting and I have no objection to that - upland farms need shelter strips.... but we also have a block of hill which was reclaimed after being under trees, because the crop was a total failure. Oh aye, and most of our shelter belts are a total write off after the storm in November - what a mess!

I'm surrounded on all sides by tens of thousands of acres of bleak Sitka woodland which maybe does skew my opinion on the matter
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
Its just a crop, not that much different than continuous maize for an AD plant or a wheat OSR two crop rotation, its just longer until harvest. When the crop is harvested it could (silly rules aside) be put back into Agriculture.
It provides jobs too, perhaps even more than extensively farmed sheep?

You don't want the whole country covered in them and they need to be managed properly (just like a farm) but I don't understand the hate.
i dont either , least for ones we have, as theres no finer place to rest your back against with a cool glass of cider out of the sun on a hot summers eve.
and heats our house without any oil or gas use in winter., minus a bit for the saws and splitter tractor i guess.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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