Go non-na­tive

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Front Page -

In Bri­tain to­day the av­er­age num­ber of dif­fer­ent tree species found in re­cently planted wood­land is fewer than 10 (it is even less in an­cient and na­tive wood­lands), there­fore the chances of some new disease or in­sect preda­tor caus­ing dev­as­ta­tion in that wood­land is one in 10. In the Ama­zo­nian rain­for­est the av­er­age num­ber of dif­fer­ent tree species to each acre is about 100 (in some in­stances it can rise to 180), so the ra­tio of po­ten­tial dam­age lessens to one in 100.

I am not sug­gest­ing we should plant up­wards of 100 dif­fer­ent species in our gar­dens or wood­lands (although it might be great fun to try). I sim­ply pro­pose that we be­gin to widen the pool of species from which we choose.

Some con­ser­va­tion­ists will feel un­com­fort­able with this ap­proach, pre­fer­ring to only plant “na­tive” tree species. The prob­lem with this is that we limit our­selves to around 34 species (plus a few more sub­species) and po­ten­tially half of th­ese are al­ready sus­cep­ti­ble to

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