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Forestry strategy advisory report clearly defines opportunities and constraints for tree nurseries

The advisory report 'Planting for the future' gives a clear insight into the availability of seeds and plants for the Forestry Strategy. The report also mentions the opportunities and bottlenecks for tree nurseries, says Arno Engels on behalf of the LTO branch group Trees and Perennials in a message following the report.

The report, which was drawn up by the Working Group on Gene Sources and Plant Material, was officially presented at a digital meeting to the commissioning parties: the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the provinces. The working group consisted of experts from the plant chain. André Wijnstra, chairman of the LTO Culture Group Forest and Hedging Plants, participated as a representative of tree nurseries.

An estimated 161 million trees and shrubs will be needed up to 2030. This requires, among other things, long-term agreements with growers and guarantees for their sales. Wijnstra underlined this during the presentation. "Before we start investing in seeds, we would like to get some kind of guarantee. We do not need to have sold every oak tree before the acorn goes into the ground, but we do need to know that the requested volumes are being purchased."

Important bottleneck: seed availability
Growers are still cautious about the plans in the Forestry Strategy, according to the report, which has to do with government plans in the past. Back then, many plants were also needed, but they were hardly taken up after a three- to four-year cultivation period. "We are, therefore, in a vacuum now," said Wijnstra, "but I am convinced that, with the advice from the report and with the seed trade, we will succeed in realizing the plans from the Forest Strategy."

A major bottleneck is seed availability. The future seed requirements for the Forest Strategy were inventoried by the LTO Culture Group, Treeport Zundert, and the BoHeZa trading group. "We have known for years that there were bottlenecks with various species, and these have now become clear with figures," Wijnstra told the presentation of the report. "This autumn, there are shortages again. Nature decides."

To cover seed shortages in the future, new seed sources are required. The government is needed for this. "Investments in new sources cannot come from the private sector," Wijnstra said. They are long-term investments in land and materials. "It takes 15-20 years before a seed orchard of tree seeds comes into production."

LNV: availability of material is decisive
During the meeting, Hank Bartelink, chairman of the working group, handed over the report to Donné Slangen (acting Director-General of Nature, Fisheries and Rural Areas, Ministry of LNV) and Hagar Roijackers (provincial executive for North Brabant and portfolio holder for Forestry Strategy in the Vitaal Platteland advisory committee).

"It's about large numbers of trees and shrubs," said Slangen, "and it's also about quality. Having all the material available is crucial for the Forestry Strategy." Roijackers: "The cooperation with growers is a win-win situation."

The complete report 'Planting for the future' (NL) can be found here.

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