YOU may have noticed trees becoming something of a hot topic lately.

With climate change rising up the news agenda, the arguments for increased tree planting to deliver a sustainable wood economy are being made more ever-more urgently.

At a political level, there is cross-party support for a major expansion of Scotland’s woodlands and increasing use of sustainable materials.

At present, Scotland is planting around 80% of all new UK woodland and is the only part of the UK to have set clear targets for wood use in construction, with the aim of increasing the amount used from around 2.5 million cubic metres now to 3 million by 2031-2.

A tremendous amount of work has already been undertaken and, in recent years, Scotland has made some great strides (putting the rest of the UK to shame). However, to have a hope of increasing forest cover from its current base of almost 19% to the European average of around 40% there are some big challenges that need to be overcome.

Put plainly, it won’t happen without farmers. Continued reticence – even resistance – in the farming community is understandable. Making forestry financially viable takes hard work and skill. It can go badly wrong if you rush into it without knowing what you’re doing.

But support exists and farmers already have all the skills they need to successfully establish and manage woodland, securing a significant asset for their business. As for how to effectively put those skills to work (from finding grants to ground preparation, planting, pest and disease mitigation, thinning, harvesting, firewood production and much more), this is all covered in Forestry Journal, a monthly magazine bringing together the latest news and features from across the forestry world in an accessible, easy-to-digest format.

In the pages of April’s issue you will find:

• Reports on the launches of new harvesting technology from Ponsse and Komatsu;

• Forest pathologist Iben Margrete Thomsen asks foresters not to panic over ash dieback;

• An in-depth look at the new Safe Forestry app, designed to reduce risk on forestry sites;

• Our monthly Buyer’s Guide focuses on timber trailers and cranes;

• Mark Bridgeman, president of the Country Land and Business Association, is interviewed;

• A visit to the Abbey Timber sawmill in Berwickshire;

• Jack Bithell of Bithell Asset Finance Solutions talks machinery and equipment finance;

• A feature on a recent farm planting project in Aberdeenshire.

Plus all the latest news, regular opinion columns and equipment for sale in the Classified section.

Whether you already have established woodland or are just beginning to explore options, Forestry Journal can offer a lot to keep you informed, inspired and entertained.

To learn more, visit