Hello, I'm from Mexico, there are only few type of trees that may be adaptable to Iceland and there is a little problem, even Iceland has not very cold winters like Siberia, summers are not hot enough to allow tree's growth, Siberia averages 18? C in summers (-20?C in winters) and Iceland only 10 or 11?C in summer, the most adequate choice is planting trees from Tierra del Fuego, see similarities: average coldest month; Tierra del Fuego 0?C, Iceland 0?C; average hottest month; Tierra del Fuego 9?C, Iceland 10 to 11?C. Amazing, Tierra del Fuego has coldest summers than Iceland, and even has forests. Friends from Iceland something similar happened in Faroe Islands (10?C in summers), which are natural devoid of trees and it was thought that trees couln't succeed because of cold summers and strong winds, until trees or seeds where brought from Tierra del Fuego, an expedition was made there to collect the best specimens, focusing on places from the coasts and tundra borders, As a result of it, the following species from Tierra del Fuego: Drimys winteri, Nothofagus antarctica, Nothofagus pumilio, and Nothofagus betuloides, have been succesfully introduced in Faroe. As a general rule, fueguian trees show good signs of acclimation in Faroe, while those from northern Europe and South Alaska do not show that virtue because they need more heat in summers. Even Araucaria Araucana from 40? lat S in Chile acclimatized perfectly (it produces edible nuts). Only trees from southernmost forests of Tierra del Fuego can tolerate cold from winters in Faroe (Central Chile or Argentina are not useful), e.g. In United Kingdom drimys winteri only can tolerate -10?C because provenances come probably from its northernmost natural ranges in Central Chile. While in Tierra del Fuego it tolerates -20?C or less in winters, and then we gotta be very careful from tree's provenances (the most useful are the southernmost), and that is why trees planted in Faroe are very much hardier than those in Britain.
Aleutian islands failure Aleutian islands, central coast of Alaska Instead of trees, the islands are covered with a luxuriant, dense growth of herbage, including grasses, sedges and many flowering plants. On some of the islands, such as Adak and Amaknak, there are a few coniferous trees growing, remnants of the Russian period. But these trees, some of them estimated to be two hundred years old, rarely reach a height of even ten feet, and many of them are still less than five feet tall, this is because summers are not hot enough to favor a good growth for those trees brought from Sitka (in southern Alaska), where summers reach 14 ?C, while in other parts of the world like Tierra del Fuego (which trees have not been introduced in the islands); native trees tolerate very cold temperatures in summer (9? C)
It would be very important to introduce trees in Iceland in order to protect soil from erosion by grazing and strong winds. Tierra del Fuego's trees are the salvation, i have no doubt.
Additional note: Tierra del Fuego forests develop from 450 (east) to 3000 (west) mm of rain a year
-- (March 9, 2007) on Iceland