The planting of improved Queen Charlotte Island Sikta spruce, supplied by Maelor Forest Nurseries Ltd, has been carried out across new planting and restock sites in Dumfries and Galloway. Some 135,000 M0065 and M0066 improved full siblings have been planted, together with 900,000 half siblings.

UPM Tilhill‘s planting programme was carried out following research by the Forestry Commission‘s northern research station which showed that controlled pollination could improve trees’ diameter growth by 14%. Density and form improved by 2% and 29% respectively.

UPM Tilhill’s south-west Scotland district manager Tim Liddon said until now the stumbling block had been securing enough genetically improved seed for commercial planting.

“We can already predict the percentage gains we are likely to achieve through this higher quality, more valuable timber resource,” he said. “Its greater uniformity will improve harvesting and sawmilling efficiences.”

UPM Tilhill will continue partnership work with Maelor and intends to bring a new full sibling on stream in 2009/2010.