What is SilviFuture?
SilviFuture is a network established to promote and share knowledge about novel tree species across Britain. At its heart is a website hosting an online database that enables woodland owners and forestry professionals to add, search and share information of more than sixty tree species, many of which are less well known or tested in Britain. SilviFuture supports finding and sharing information on the silviculture of novel tree species.
Why use SilviFuture?
Britain’s tree species and forests are under threat from pests, pathogens and changing environmental conditions due to climate change. A warmer climate may favour some tree species. Currently our woodlands are not very diverse in their makeup. Just five conifer species account for 88% of our coniferous forests, while our broadleaved forests are similarly limited in diversity. Such dependency on a very narrow range of species makes our woods very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Forestry Commission climate change modelling suggests that 50% of trees planted in England today will not be suited to their current site by 2080.
To improve the resilience of our woods to the impacts of climate change, it is imperative that we encourage a greater diversity of species, including non-native species where there is evidence that they are suited to local site conditions. This requires woodland owners and managers have access to knowledge and data about different, non-traditional species and where and how they are most likely to thrive.
How can you help?
If you own or manage woods with stands of novel tree species, please upload information about them to the SilviFuture website so that others can benefit from this knowledge
SilviFuture is collaboration between the Sylva Foundation, Forestry Commission England, Forest Research, the Silvanus Trust and the Royal Forestry Society.
Case studies of woodland owners who are adapting their woods to meet the threat of pests, diseases and climate change can be found here