Likely impact of climate change on trees

You will be aware from media reports based mainly on research conducted by scientists that a global increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide has caused rising temperatures, leading to dramatic and dangerous changes to weather conditions. As a result we are experiencing prolonged periods of high winds, higher rainfall and less frequently, sustained occurrences of little or no rainfall. This situation gives rise to drought.

The long term effects of these changes on plant life are still being thought through. There will be losses of some species, but also opportunities to introduce other tree species that are sufficiently robust to thrive in a continuously dynamic weather system. Birchfleet Arboretum is conducting research on many species of oak trees from various parts of the world, to test their resilience to the new conditions that we currently experience.

Mindful of climate changes mentioned we are also experimenting with the constituents of our tree composts in order to reduce the carbon footprint associated with tree production. We have also improved the quality of the rooting systems of our oaks. Oaks are notorious for producing long tap roots at an early stage of development and grown in pots the tap roots circle round the inside base of the pot. When planted out these trees are constricted in their development.