- Better survival rates. The genetic makeup of local provenance native trees and shrubs ensures that they are better adapted to local conditions found in Wales. Planting better adapted trees ensures better survival rates, avoiding the costs of replanting.
- Conserving local wildlife. Historically in Wales many planted native trees have been grown from seed collected from very different areas (either lowland UK, or worse from continental Europe). Trees grown from imported seed may differ significantly in important genetic characteristics, influencing the time they come into leaf, flower and fruit, upsetting the fine balance between native trees and the wildlife they support.
- Reducing climate change. Sourcing trees and seeds locally reduces transport costs and reduces pollution. Extra transport miles are incurred when nurseries outside Wales travel to collect welsh tree seed, then transporting it back to the nursery and once more transporting the tree seedlings back to Wales for planting.
- Safeguarding local employment. Supporting a local nursery business has a multiplier effect on the local economy, with employees spending their money on local goods and services.There are opportunities for nursery enterprises creating full time jobs, as well as for existing land-owners to diversify, developing part-time nursery jobs to supplement their income.
- Conserving local natural heritage. There is now widespread appreciation of the environmental and economic advantages of planting native trees, rather than, for example non-native conifers. Native trees and woodlands, particularly remnants of ancient woodland, are a crucial part of local landscapes, preserving a region’s historical character and enhancing its attractiveness for tourism.
- Social, recreational and health benefits. Benefits to social and personal health from observing or experiencing natural green spaces, including woodland, has been well documented. Increasingly, visitors appreciate woodland, not just as a general experience of trees and shrubs, but also according to a deeper understanding of the biodiversity any woodland supports. Such experiences can have more profound emotional and spiritual benefits for our mental well being.
Most agencies involved in tree planting, including Coed Cymru, Forestry Commission, C.C.W., Woodland Trust, Flora Locale, National trust, Highways Directorate of W.A.G. and Unitary Authorities now recommend using local provenance trees.
See our information sections for more details.
When buying trees, how can I tell if they are local provenance?
1. Before buying trees, always ask the nursery for information about the origin/location of the seed for any trees they sell. Competent nurseries should keep records of where they collect tree seed from as well as details about environmental conditions of the site, such as altitude, type of woodland, soil type and drainage. Nurseries are obliged, by law, to register with the Forestry Commission details of all their seed collections.
2. Ask for a certificate of provenance for all trees purchased. This need not be a complex document, but should at least give details of the region of provenance. This will be a number, such as 303, 304 or 403 (see UK regions of provenance map) outlining where the seed was collected which was used to grow your trees.
3. Consult your local Forestry Commission Woodland officer or Coed Cymru officer for advice on which nurseries supply local provenance, native trees.