Elderslie Estates and Houston Farms (joint winners in 2018 of Scotland Finest Woodlands) has been trialling various eucalypt species in Renfrewshire, including clones supplied by the French Forestry Commission, seeking to meet a number of challenges ranging from disease build up in spruce to what to do with middle hill grassland and a desire to tap into the biomass and biofuSouels market.
Previous Forestry Commission trials were not a success and Eucalyptus were officially ruled out as part of the future for Scottish forestry. However, our trials results have been spectacular, and we have now moved on to production planting. The results to date suggest we can achieve in 10 to 12 years what Sitka spruce manages in 30 years and hardwoods in 100 years.
With the right provenance and correct establishment techniques growth is rapid and canopy closure achieved in a couple of years. Deer don’t eat them, and they tolerate drought, flood and low temperatures and are FSC approved.
So not quite kangaroos in Kilmacolm, but definitely Eucalyptus in Renfrewshire and certainly helping land use towards a brighter future.