ONTD Political

Scottish charity looks to save forgotten forest of wee trees

10:06 pm - 11/21/2012

A "forgotten forest" of small tree species require conservation efforts similar to those needed to protect taller trees, a charity has said.

Moray-based Trees for Life said some species such as dwarf birch were becoming scarce in the UK.

The charity has included what it calls "wee trees" in projects to restore ancient woodland, and to plant a million trees across Scotland.

Other small, upland species include rowan and eared willow.

As part of the conservation effort, scientists have sequenced the entire genetic code - the genome - of a dwarf birch from Trees for Life's Dundreggan Estate in the Highlands.

The charity said the work by Queen Mary University of London would aid its efforts to restore areas of ancient Caledonian woodland on the estate in Glen Moriston.

Alan Watson Featherstone, executive director of Trees for Life, said: "This is a tremendous breakthrough.

"Together with our woodland restoration work at Dundreggan, where we have one of the greatest concentrations of dwarf birch in Scotland, it will do much to benefit the conservation of this important species."

Richard Buggs, lead scientist on the genome project, said: "Increasing our understanding of tree genomes is essential for our long-term ability to conserve and grow tree species in the UK."

Trees for Life said small tree species represented a "forgotten forest" in the UK.

It said healthy populations of dwarf birch benefited birds such as black grouse, ptarmigan and golden plover on upland moors.

Rowan grows at a higher altitude than any other tree in the UK and occurs at almost 1,000m (3,280ft) in parts of the Highlands, according to Trees for Life.

It said eared willow grows in moist, slightly acidic soils throughout Scotland, including the Western Isles, Orkney and as far north as North Voe on mainland Shetland.

source: BBC
Trees for Life "Wee Tree" fundraiser
maladaptive 22nd-Nov-2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
ILU and your trees.

I'm gonna think "wee trees" to myself all day and burst out giggling.
fenris_lorsrai 22nd-Nov-2012 02:50 pm (UTC)
Squee trees!
moonshaz 23rd-Nov-2012 02:48 am (UTC)
Ikr? It just sounds so danged cute! {{{wee trees}}}
bnmc2005 22nd-Nov-2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
YAY tree surgery tag!

We had to take down a spruce from our front yard because whatever bug that's been making it's way across the country finally got to it. It shed 75% of it's GREEN needles in two months. Ugh. tragic.

Wee trees are awesome!
beuk 22nd-Nov-2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
I wish this story had video. I would love to hear "wee trees" and more said in a Scottish accent.
the_glow_worm 22nd-Nov-2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
poetic_pixie_13 23rd-Nov-2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
'Wee trees' is the best thing I've heard all day.
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