Forest tree species

In B4EST we focus on eight of the most economically, ecologically and socially important tree species in Europe, covering a wide range of current and potential habitats, industrial uses and societal values:

Why are they important?

Growing in boreal and temperate continental bioclimatic zones, Picea abies (Norway spruce) and Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) represent over 75% of sustainably managed forest growing stock in the Nordic countries, the most important producers of forest products in the EU.

Pinus pinaster (maritime pine) dominates forest production systems (roundwood) and reforestation along the European Atlantic coast and is a major component of native forests and plantations in the Mediterranean region.

Populus nigra and interspecific hybrids (poplars), grown in temperate climates, provide raw material for industrial processing (e.g., pulp, paper, plywood) and biofuel production.

Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) is the most abundant non-native tree species cultivated in Central Europe, providing high quality timber products.

Eucalyptus spp. (eucalypts) are important industrial non-native species with high productive capacity and potential to further provide income in depressed rural areas, particularly where degraded or unused forest land occurs in Southern Europe.

In the Mediterranean regions, where production of high quality timber is limited by frequency of fire hazard and drought, Pinus pinea (stone pine) provides sustainably high-value non-wood forest products (i.e., pine nuts), being relevant for rural economic development.

Fraxinus excelsior (common ash), abundant in temperate deciduous forests, is threatened by an emerging invasive fungal disease and an exotic wood-boring beetle; a pressing economic and conservation challenge requiring the urgent development of resistant FRM.