Bedgebury have succeeded in germinating seeds collected from one of the world’s most critically endangered tree species.
It is the first time in nearly 30 years that anyone has succeeded in germinating seeds of the Japanese birch (Betula chichibuensis), a tree so rare that only 21 trees were recorded growing in the wild in 1993.
The team (which included Dan Luscombe from Bedgebury) collected the Japanese birch from wild trees on a collaborative seed-collecting expedition to Japan in 2014, led by University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum in conjunction with the University of Tokyo. This expedition was funded in part by the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum, and our ongoing support through the provision of funds for nursery resource has played a role in this exciting achievement for Bedgebury,
The full Forestry Commission press release can be seen by clicking here.