Now summer is reaching its peak and the ecosystem is in full swing. This also applies to the pests that attack trees and shrubs. As in previous years, the Icelandic Forest Service – Skógræktin is calling for tips from the public about pests on trees throughout the country, as well as about the general health of forests, such as effects of seasonal disruptions in weather or individual storms.
The Icelandic Forest Service has released a new video explaining the making of biochar from Icelandic thinning wood and an ongoing research exploring the benefits of mixing biochar into farmland soil. It is good hope that the use of artificial fertiliser can be reduced substantially by using this method in Icelandic agriculture.
An article in the latest volume of the Icelandic Forest Research' science bulletin Rit Mógilsár shows interesting results from recent measurements of the so called Rarik-experiment, set out 25 years ago with 50 provenances of downy birch. It appears that birch from Southeast Iceland produces the highest amount of seeds and shows highest resistance to rust fungus. Authors recommend further work on the already fruitful breeding work that has been carried out in Iceland to enhance the development of birch reproduction material suited for Icelandic lowlands in the future.
Given there is sufficient knowledge, not least in the field of plant nursery techniques, propagating the larch hybrid 'Hrymur' with cuttings seems to be quite a viable possibility. Experiments reported in a new article published in the journal Rit Mógilsár, showed good rooting of both winter cuttings and unlignified summer cuttings of the hybrid. A promising potential is to cultivate the cuttings in microtrays and use robots for transplanting.
At least 250 tree rings have been counted in a common juniper tree at Hólasandur land reclamation area which lies jus north of the Lake Mývatn Nature Reserve in North Iceland. That individual plant is therefore the oldest "tree" known to grow in Iceland. Great magnification is needed to count the superthin tree rings of the Icelandic juniper which is very slow-growing.