Future Trees Trust moved into the Innovation Centre back in June 2019. They have been a welcome addition to both the centre and the campus community.
I caught up with Dr Jo Clark in December to find out a little bit about the work that the trust do.
Future Trees Trust is a registered charity dedicated to the improvement of broadleaved trees by conventional selective breeding. Britain is one of the least forested countries in Europe, and historically our woodlands have been over utilised, and the best trees removed. This means that the poorer quality individuals are left to provide the next generation of trees. The aim of our work is to breed broadleaved trees that are adapted to UK conditions and have high timber yield.
However, for woodlands to survive and flourish, they must be healthy and genetically diverse. One of the many projects we are working on at present is finding ash trees that are resilient to the fungal pathogen that causes ash dieback, a disease that is killing millions of ash trees across the country. We have just published a report on the state of elm in the UK and are funding a PhD study into the flowering mechanisms of oak so that we are able to source sufficient acorns grown in, and therefore adapted to, Britain.
We are a small charity with only three employees at present, but we have great ambitions and, with the current surge of interest in trees and their role in climate change, we hope to grow substantially in the next few years.
Harwell Innovation Centre is a great place to be based with a friendly team and good facilities nearby, including transport links.
Follow us on Twitter @FutureTreesUK
Interested in joining a community of businesses just like Future Trees Trust? Harwell Innovation Centre has a variety of flexible options to suit you and your business. Find out more by calling 01235 838500 to talk to a member of our team to discuss your options.