Last year 22 million trees planted in Scotland to help meet ‘global climate emergency’.
Last year Scotland planted more trees than anywhere else in the United Kingdom – in fact, 84% of all trees planted in the UK were planted north of the Scottish Border.
In total 11,200 hectares of trees were planted, smashing the 10,000 hectare target set by the Scottish Government. 40% planted were broadleaves which support greater biodiversity than traditional plantations of conifers.
Fergus Ewing, Scotlands Rural economy secretary explained that the “whole tree planting effort has truly been a national endeavour with all forestry interests, both large and small, pulling together [ and that ] a new approach to woodland creation proposals was introduced last year and whilst this has helped us deliver the target, it also ensures that communities and interest groups are consulted along the way”.
The tree planting measures were taken in response to the emerging global environmental emergency. Scottish forests already remove around 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 each year, and increasing tree planting is a key step in fighting against climate change.
The bulk of the tree planting scheme has been delivered by private companies, with new forestry schemes costing the Scottish Government £46 million.
The trees will eventually be harvested as the new forests are developed are also used to create wood products, including pallets, composite boards, timber, biomass paper, and bark. However, it takes around 30 to 50 years for Conifers to mature and 80 to 150 years for broadleaves.
The Scottish Government has now bumped its planting target to 15,000 hectares a year from 2024 and is aiming to increase the land covered by forest from 19% to 21% by 2032.