After conducting research into the potential use of aspen in agroforestry, Eadha concluded that aspen could be an extremely useful species in agroforestry, in particular in silvo-pastoral systems, offering a unique set of benefits. These are outlined in our report below.
Following the publication of this report, Eadha consulted with the Soil Association Scotland and persuaded them to included an Aspen Agroforestry element to their existing Agroforestry RISS Group (Rural Innovation Support Service). We hope this will stimulate interest from land managers to plant more aspen in agroforestry systems. To date the following agroforestry projects have included a component of, or been solely based on aspen:
Aspen Agroforestry Trials
- Craigengillan Aspen Arboretum and Agroforestry Trial
- Croft agroforestry trial at Rossal, Rogart, Sutherland @rossalcroft
- Glensaugh Agroforestry Research Centre (JHI)
- Lynbreck Croft
- Sailean, Lismore
- THIS Trees agroforestry Trial, Somerset.
- Thorncroft, Westray, Orkney
- Whitmuir Cooperative Farm, West Linton
We are currently seeking funding to pay for a research project to investigate the nutritional value of aspen to livestock. This would cover all the necesary lab testing costs. Recent research conducted by the Woodland Trust concluded that willow contained very high levels of beneficial nutrients. We suspect aspen would equal or even exceed willow in this respect.