Can't see the point for the trees

David Cox, "In defence of forestry" (Letters, 2 April), is assessing private forestry through rose-coloured spectacles.

The grants are derisory, and when the trees that the Forestry Commission recommends mature, the wood can prove to be worth practically nothing. That has been my experience with planting poplars, as the FC advised me, on my land in east Kent. They grew and grew to about 150ft, until the neighbours began to complain of the danger in high winds, but by then people had stopped smoking and using matches, and my poplar wood was valueless.

In their wisdom, too, governments had by now responded to pleas from Scotland and Wales for more industry and had not only transferred the FC HQ from London's Savile Row to Edinburgh, but had also moved all the timber-processing factories from the nearby Kentish Medway to these far-flung places, leaving nowhere for my felled poplar wood to go, except at unbelievable expense for transportation.

Felling 150ft trees in an English climate is both extremely hazardous and costly. I had to hire a team of skilled tree fellers, and even they can sometimes get it wrong, with the winds blowing one way at ground level and in the reverse direction up above.

I love trees, but it's never again. I have now sold the land.

Frank Hansford-Miller
Thanet, Kent