July 22, 2021

Agroforestry: a primer

With Jez Ralph

Time: 11.00am to 12.30pm

Method: ZOOM online meeting

Price: RFS members £12.00 / non-RFS members £15.00

Agroforestry is moving up the agenda of farmers, policy makers and foresters at an exponential rate.  Its advantages are numerous, providing benefits to agricultural crops and to soils.  It is increasingly seen as a potential carbon store as well as giving tree product mixes such as timber, fruit and nuts.  Agroforestry presents the challenges of a new type of silviculture, growing trees in more open conditions in richer soils and more directly within a farm unit.

It is a new way of growing trees, though rooted in the past, and as foresters and tree-enthusiasts we need to understand agroforestry as its importance increases.  This course acts as an introduction to agroforestry. Over 90 minutes we will cover the various types of agroforestry; their benefits; their opportunities and challenges:

  • Types of agroforestry systems
  • Benefits to farmers
  • Potential products from the tree elements of the systems
  • Silviculture of agroforestry systems
  • How agroforestry systems fit into conventional forestry and conventional landscapes

Jez Ralph

Timber Strategies

Jez Ralph has been working in the forestry and timber industries for 20 years. From a Masters degree in Forest management his interest grew in timber use and timber quality. In 2011 Jez was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to investigate increasing the value of timber for small-scale forest owners around the world. In 2015 Jez set up Timber Strategies which is sits in the underdeveloped area between forestry and timber use. Timber Strategies is involved in developing value-chains and integrated supply-chains that maximise quality & value of timber. The business works with forest-owners, sawmills, timber-users and policy-makers equally as well as teaching at schools of forestry and architecture.

Over the past 10 years Jez has worked increasingly in agroforestry on various estates and farms across England. This has included design & species advice on silvo-pastoral, silvoarable and forest-garden systems. He has also worked extensively on trees in urban forestry systems for quality timber production.