Advice on short rotation forestry for the British Isles

Advice on soils

Information and advice > Advice on soils

All Eucalyptus species suited to SRF in the British Isles are happy on well-drained neutral and acid mineral soils. Such soils appear to give the highest yield potential.

Good moisture availability is more important than inherent fertility in contributing to good growth, and many lowland sites with a history of forestry appear well-suited to SRF. Several eucalyptus species appear to grow well on alkaline soils, or thin soils over chalk. Growth on thin, free-draining and dry soils can be surprisingly good, provided there is reasonable moisture available to permit good establishment in the months after planting. Many species, notably the swamp gums, will grow on sites with periodically high water-tables, though their yield potential is unclear and they generally benefit from some drainage. There is little experience of growing eucalyptus on peaty soils, though it is likely that certain species will grow well on these provided there is some drainage.

As with any trees, there may be longer-term stability issues on soils that do not permit deep rooting due to impermeable subsoil or high water-tables.