Ukraine approves list of alien tree species prohibited in reproduction of forests

"Three million hectares of forests in Ukraine were damaged by Russian aggression and need to be restored. The approval of the List of Invasive Species is a historic environmental step that will allow to restore climate-resistant forests with high protective properties and without aggressive alien species in Ukraine," said the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Ruslan Strilets.

"These following species are prohibited from being used to create and restore forests and shelterbelts in Ukraine:

Ailanthus altissima, Aralia mandshurica, Gleditsia triacanthos, Juglans nigra, Ulmus pumila,  Quercus rubra, Acer negundo, Elaeagnus angustifolia, Celtis occidentalis, Paulownia, Robinia pseudoacacia, Prunus serotina, Fraxinus pennsylvanica 

At the same time, trees planted before the entry into force of the list will not be cut down," the ministry said.

The Ministry of Natural Resources said that alien tree species can change or destroy entire ecosystems: having no natural enemies in new territories, invasive species multiply rapidly, occupy space, and crowd out native species of natural landscapes.

The ministry said that before 2021 there was no comprehensive approach to resolving this issue in Ukraine. At the initiative of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Forest Regeneration Rules were updated, Ukraine's State Forest Management Strategy until 2035 and the Biosafety and Biological Protection Strategy were adopted, which, in particular, prohibit the use of alien tree species.

The list of invasive species was developed by an interdepartmental working group created by the Ministry of Natural Resources, which included specialists from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences, the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, the National Forestry University of Ukraine, the State Forest Resources Agency and leading experts from environmental organizations.

Source: Interfax Ukraine,

Forest near Bakhmut, Ukraine
Photo by Victor Borynets, Forest near Bakhmut, Ukraine