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Site and species suitability and establishment of SRF trials

ShortFor Project - Work Package 2

Main objectives

Field trials were established to identify the most promising species for SRF and assess the impact of planting density on tree growth responses.


  • T.2.1. Sites and species selection.
    A review of the literature combined with some data from Ireland was carried out to reveal the species/clones with potential for use in SRF trials in Ireland.

  • T.2.2. Trials and planting density.
    Three SRF field trials have been established to investigate the impact of planting density on performance of suitable species for SRF. The sites were established at Johnstown Castle (Co. Wexford, 2014), Portlaw (Co. Waterford, 2015) and Mountain West (Co. Galway, 2016). While Eucalyptus nitens, Alnus cordata and Picea sitchensis are present in all the sites, different species are also being tested in Portlaw (Abies grandis) and Mountain West (Eucalyptus rodwayii and Sequoia sempervirens). Planting densities in the trials range from 40000 to 1333 trees/ha.
    Another trial to study the performance of suitable species for SRF on peatland was established in Newport (Co. Mayo, 2014). Trial contains Eucalyptus nitens, Eucalyptus rodwayii, Eucalyptus subcrenulata and Picea sitchensis.

  • T.2.3. Growth and competition patterns.
    The assessment of the effect of plant density on tree growth and physiological responses is being carried out.
    Potted experiments were set up in a polytunnel in Kinsealy, Co. Dublin, in 2015 and 2016. Seedlings of Eucalyptus nitens, Alnus cordata and Picea sitchensis were grown in pots to evaluate the effect of planting density effects on tree growth, morphology and physiology.