Too many spruce!


Friends of the Earth have been long calling for a change to mixed forests, arguing that the country’s largely coniferous forests are more vulnerable to diseases, such as the current severe bark-beetle infestation, as well as changes in the level of underground water.

Under the proposal put forward by the agriculture ministry, a mixture of broad-leaved trees and pines, which prevent soil erosion, only account for between 5 to 30 percent of current Czech forests, with the rest being taken up by fast-growing spruces.

But according to Friends of the Earth, spruces would naturally grow only in high altitudes and would only take up about 10 percent of the country’s forests.

READ ON: Radio Prague International

Too many spruce?

Reforesting Ireland

In 1900, Ireland had the lowest forest cover in Europe at just 1 per cent. That has risen to 11 per cent now and the Government has set a target of 18 per cent by 2050. However, just 2 per cent of our trees are native species, and half of the country’s forests are made up of Sitka spruce which originates in the US.

According to Save Leitrim half of the county’s farmland is now taken over by Sitka plantations, amounting to 34.5 million trees. They are laid out like dark green blankets on the landscape.

READ MORE: Irish Times