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UK Agroforestry Forum
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What does it look like?
Should I try it on my farm? Grants, costs, markets and impacts.
How easy is it to manage? Set up and run an agroforestry system.
FAQs: answers to specific questions.
Links to more information.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Question Answer Use these links to get more detail
Are there grants for silvopastoral agroforestry? Yes, through the Woodland Grant Scheme operated by the Forestry Commission in GB and the Forest Service in Northern Ireland. Existing forage area payments are unaffected. Grant information
What will it cost to get started? Some ground preparation is required, tree seedlings and individual tree protection will have to be bought. Establishment costs
Are there markets for the timber? Yes, you should plan to grow good quality timber if you want financial returns. Specialist sawmillers required good timber from a range of tree species. Market information
Which tree species could I grow? It is very important to choose tree species which are suited to your site, only that way will you have a chance of growing good timber. Site suitability
Will I have to change my livestock management? No, the trees are individually protected so grazing can continue from day one. By pruning and thinning the trees as they grow you can maintain a high level of pasture and animal productivity. Farming impacts
Will there be any environmental benefits? Yes, the introduction of trees onto pastures has been shown to increase biodiversity and to improve the landscape. Environmental impacts
Will I have to learn new skills? Not necessarily, you could choose to contract out all of the tree planting and tree management jobs. On the other hand, you could quite easily learn the skills needed. Tree planting
Tree pruning
Suppose I go ahead, where will I get the trees? There are many tree nurseries around the country that can supply tree seedlings of good quality. Tree nurseries
What risks are there? There are bound to be risks with a venture like this.
  • Trees planted now will not be ready for harvesting for 40, 50 or 60 years and markets could have changed dramatically by then.
  • There are risks with tree planting and early establishment if you plant the wrong species for your site or if you don't take care in planting and protecting the trees.
  • If there are grey squirrels in your area, they may strip bark from the trees. Poisoning grey squirrels is illegal in some parts of the country and where red squirrels still survive. Check with your local advisor or with the Forestry Commission Handbook Growing Broadleaves for Timber for methods of trapping grey squirrels
  • You also need to continue a programme of maintenance after the trees are established to make sure that the livestock don't damage them.
  • You also need a programme of pruning the trees to get the best quality of timber out of them at the end of the day.

Site suitability
Tree planting

Growing Broadleaves for Timber

Routine maintenance

Tree pruning

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