A tiny taste of the forest’s past

When Newborough Forest was first being established, it was renowned for the diversity of species included in the planting mix.

The recent diversion of the Commonweath Run trail now takes you through an area where fragments remain of the labels used to identify trial plantings of pines from different native origins.


old provenance label_s

An old label in a Pinus contorta trial area – this one from British Colombia

old provenance label2s

Another old lodgepole pine trial label – this one from Oregon

Sadly, they are only fragments – most of the marker posts no longer have labels – but it is a lovely reminder of a happier time for forestry in Wales.


One of the dwindling areas of shoreline pines



6 thoughts on “A tiny taste of the forest’s past

  1. Dafydd Goronwy

    Whilst the rear of the forest could be described as mildly diverse, the plantings are generally very poor in species diversity. Corsican pine has survived and presumably most of the trial plantings failed as a result of environmental stresses and poor species selection?

    1. Kay hortographical Post author

      Yes, you’re right, the majority of the “commercial” planting (the vast majority of the forest) was Corsican pine, with some lodgepole, there were various pockets of “trials” – just relatively small areas, but there were lots of different species planted, not just trees, but shrubs and flowers too. It seemed to be a bit of a playground for the FC at the time:) And, yes, you’re right, lots of things didn’t survive because they weren’t at all suited: but that isn’t a failure per se, it helps us learn what does and doesn’t work. One thing that was nice was the way things were carefully documented and mapped in the “old days” and it’s a shame when that is lost.

  2. barry

    I can still find a few of the tryout species, ………….
    Noble fir
    Grand fir
    Caucasian fir,
    Japanese cedar
    Western hemlock.
    Sitka spruce
    Corsican pine
    Monkey puzzle tree.
    Norway spruce
    Monterey pine
    Bishops Pine
    Lodgepole pine
    Shore pine
    Balsam poplar
    Monterey cypress
    Hinoki cypress
    European larch
    Weymouth pine
    Bhutan pine
    Japanese larch
    Douglas fir
    Japanese red pine
    Lawsons cypress, are all there and doing OK. Good luck finding the Pinus densiflora though.
    Not so much a forest, more an arboretum, all power to diversity.


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