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HTA launches report on import substitution of oak trees

Kevin Hobbs, Raoul Curtis-Machin and Adam Wigglesworth with the Oak Report. Photo credit: HTA

The report aims to outline the main reasons for the current extensive importation of oak (Quercus species) into the UK and to suggest solutions to enable more to be grown at home.

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Horticulture

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23 May 2017 | 0

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) launched a report on Monday May 22nd on the import substitution of oak trees (Quercus species). Since 2013, the UK has imported 1.12 million oak trees, according to official Defra statistics.

There is a great opportunity for the UK to increase production of this iconic tree, thereby boosting the economy and improving bio-security.

The report identifies the reasons for the high import levels of oak, and suggests collaborative solutions for industry and government to address them.

The main challenges are to improve supply chain efficiency, improve public procurement and market conditions, and encourage better sourcing of UK-grown trees.

The horticulture industry exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (40 Sunbury Road – GPE169 in the Great Pavilion) celebrates the oak tree with a fabulous specimen supplied by Majestic Trees, and a beautiful fairy wood of seedling oak, hazel, birch and horse chestnut, grown by school children.

Raoul Curtis-Machin, HTA Director of Horticulture, said: “There are no physical reasons why we shouldn’t be growing most of our own oak trees in the UK. We hope to discuss this important report with the new Government, once they are settled after the election.

“It would be great to work together to achieve manifesto promises of millions of trees during the life of the next parliament. The exact same promise was made in the last one, and this fell short.”

The report Import Substitution for Oak (Quercus Species) can be downloaded here

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