Page 1

Inside this issue A welcome from the new MTOA chair, Pg.6 Trees in the city, Pg.10 SMA Tree of the Year, Pg.14 Sharing a vision, Pg.24 Don’t lose the wonder! Pg.28 BIFoR Pg.32

Woodland TPO’s. Pg.38 Heterobasidion annosum, Pg.44 Tree Selection in New York , Pg.46 And Finally, sexism in Arboriculture, Pg.51


The elephantine bark of yellowwood by Emily Hamilton

Hitting even harder around the world

The start of 2014

If you are a regular reader of the Axe you will have no doubt seen the graphic on the left before (see macthetree/docs/ axe__autumn_2014/c/su1rhtv ) At the risk of being accused of “crowing” take a look at the bottom graphic. You can see that the Axe is continuing to grow both in readership and geographically.

The end of 2014

Seems we lost our readers in Sweden and Oman but have added quite a few more. For a Journal that is primarily aimed at the MTOA members here in the UK it looks like we have a growing interest worldwide and have grown the readership tenfold. This is without doubt down to the quality of the authors that regularly contribute. We (the MTOA) are now in the position to rotate the authors as we have an embarrassment of riches. However, without doubt the biggest improvement has now been to attract female authors, a rare thing in the Tree World, please take time to read the articles and contact the authors with feedback.

Advertising rates Back page: Inside covers: Full page: Half page: Quarter page:

£250 £200 £175 £100 £50

For more details on the advertising rates and how to arrange this see page 52.

However, we are still short of advertisers, please see left as these rates for the targeted audience numbers are amazing, support the development of the Axe and the MTOA.

The Axe to Grind, Spring 2015 Edition. Interactive content; where you see the leaf logo then the page is ”live” so click for any internet content, try it

Meet this edition’s contributors If you click on any of the pictures you can read their online biography via LinkedIn


Where you see “Feature Article” the piece is unique to the Axe! We need more authors so please email if you have something to say or click on the question mark below.

Hannah Eno

Francesco Ferrini

Gareth Hare

Sharon Hosegood

David Moore

Richard Nicholson

Chris Parker


Please don’t forget to visit the MTOA’s sponsors too.

Chair Matt Seabrook

The Chairman’s Stump.

Chair-Elect Vacant

Past Chair Moray Simpson

Secretariat David Beadle

Treasurer John Blessington

CAVAT Rep. Matt Vaughan

Editor Ian Mcdermott

AFAG Rep. Tim Weatherill

GYTOG Rep. vacant

Directors Andy Shervill Gareth Hare Portia Howe Steve Dores Front cover picture. Yellowwood in bloom in New Paltz, New York ● Photo by Michelle Sutton

The new MTOA Chairman, Matt Seabrook of Telford and Wrekin Council


ike most people I know or have ever met, I had absolutely no idea what to do when I left school. Unemployment was over 3 million and there were YTS (Youth Training Schemes) where you could ‘learn’ a trade for £25 per week.

Having only a few bonefide qualifications I decided to follow my brothers chosen path and joined the Army, but not for long! I then found an enjoyable and fulfilling post as a Gardener working for a Local Authority in Hertfordshire. From there I moved to the County Council and then into full time education taking a one year course in Amenity Horticulture. Inspired by my learning experience and surprised at my own ability to retain this information, (quite a bit of Latin) I then found a job in South East London as Gardener Team Leader for Lewisham Borough Council, doing general grounds maintenance and sports facilities. It was here that I first ‘noticed’, or became interested in trees and after four years I decided to return to college and study Arboriculture. Armed with new qualifications and tree climbing skills gained during a middle year placement and post Diploma at a Local Authority in Nottinghamshire, I applied for every Tree Officer post in the northern hemisphere trying to attain the giddy heights I had set myself and was finally successful in securing a post at Derby City Council as a Tree Preservation Officer within their Planning Department. Whilst here I realised that my tree knowledge was simply not sufficient and so undertook some home learning to further my Arboricultural knowledge which then

led me to a successful appointment as Arboricultural Officer at Stafford Borough Council within their Planning Department. Whilst here I joined the MTOA (then the Midland Tree Officers Association), attending seminars and training days designed to keep its members abreast of changes in the industry, legislation and best practice. Changes in circumstances then took me to Cherwell District Council (Oxfordshire) and from there back to my childhood county of Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin District Council. I have been at Telford and Wrekin Council for nearly nine years and although I’d be the first to suggest that working for LA’s is a great way to get about and experience living in various parts of this green and pleasant land, working for a Local Authority for 8 years does give you the advantage of planning history, local landscape changes, alterations in the political landscape and all the complaints and issues related to trees all over the Borough. The MTOA Board holds some very persuasive and colourful characters, all of whom hold skills over and above the basic ‘urban foresters’ requirements, to the point where I found myself on the BoD in 2010. From there to Vice Chair in 2013 and now I find myself to be the Chairman of the Board, a daunting and rather nerve racking position. I am fortunate to have the pleasure of working with long standing members who, given their input and the positive changes they have made to

this organisation will be able to steer these inexperienced hands to further the overall cause by continuing to raise awareness and push for greater attention to be paid to trees within our environment. Since the 90’s when I first started to learn about trees, statistics, data and our understanding of what it is trees actually do and the positive changes they make can be collated to such a depth of understanding that we can now categorically state trees have a positive affect upon our lives far more than we ever realised (I speak for myself and can name a few others here). Beyond the environment and climate change contributions commonly considered there is now evidence to prove that an increased tree population and canopy cover is proven to contribute to our mental states, reduces levels of cortisol in our bodies (reducing stress levels), how air pollution affects attention deficit in children (higher canopy cover percentages can reduce levels and cases of ADHD in our communities). Hospital patients who are given ‘a bed with a view to green space, trees and sky’ are shown to have a faster recovery rate, spending less time in hospital and reducing their drain on resources. The very presence of trees in our communities improves our lives immeasurably. Lower pulse rates and blood pressure, reduced crime rates, healthier babies (at birth), increased and higher grades and attendance at school, higher levels of concentration, even lower related (Continued on page 8)

sickness leave from the workplace can all be factors associated with the presence of trees in our immediate living and working environments. Local Authorities benefit too, higher house prices equates to higher tax banding increasing the revenues which in turn can improve the services provided, increasing demand, pushing values higher still. Shoppers spend more time and more revenue when shopping in high quality tree lined areas and streets, increasing income for retailors and service providers, increasing their business rates to the Local Authority further. As we see for ourselves the evidence presented is straight forward and its easy for us all to sit and agree, if were down to the LA Tree Officer, Ecologist and Conservationist we, as Local Authorities would be boasting and publicising the statistics that matter- our canopy cover percentages, our green space availability, the asset values of our tree stocks (which would be in the billions and one of the highest assets any LA could claim), our increased average house prices, excellent hospital facilities, safe low crime neighbourhoods and outstanding Ofsted reports. If we can educate the ignorant and present these facts and statistics in a way that those who can actually change the way we see our towns, cities and council boroughs, change the way we treat the residents in our respective authorities and

seek to change for the good of the community, look not just to the next four year parliamentary term but far beyond, for the sake of the next generation and the one after that, only then will the findings we have make a difference to the lives we lead. And so the task has been set with some leading authorities that have further resourced themselves with itree data stand in good stead to reason with and push towards a better place to live, work and prosper. Trees themselves are being discussed in parliament and their values appear to be being realised, whether financial or social, does it really matter as long as the audience actually hear what’s being said and act on those words then hopefully we can move in the right direction.

Matt Seabrook References: Trees for Better Human Habitat: the evidence of health benefits Kathleen Wolf, Ph.D. Research Social Scientist

Francesco Ferrini

They are worth much more than they cost and they must be managed by arborists


rees are the main assets of our cities.

situations there is not sufficient space

This statement may seem obvious

(both for crown expansion and, above all,

but, while operating costs of planting and

for the development of an adequate root

maintaining trees are widely known, the

system) for planting of large trees and so

benefits they provide are often little known

the opportunity to maximize the role of the

and underestimated.

vegetation in improving the heat island

In recent years the number of trees in

many cities has decreased (although there are some exceptions), especially with the loss of open spaces in private properties. In a climate change scenario, it is worrying that the public and private open spaces are threatened by the "urban renewal" and by the development that jeopardize the longterm sustainability. In many of these







concentration of pollutants (especially PMx), reduce the speed of the wind, protecting buildings and, consequently, reduce the consumption of energy, are significantly reduced. Beyond this, also climate regulation, management of heavy rains, water purification and increase biodiversity will be penalized.

Therefore we must ask to ourselves not

involve the use of public funds must

only about the economic feasibility of

therefore be objective, balanced and

these development policies (but is this a

transparent. The access to the right

“true development�?) but also on their

information at the right time is crucial for a



trade-off coherent policy, a situation

Actually, trees provide a number of

involving a choice between two or more

economic and ecological services for

possibilities, where the loss of value (in this

society. These are now called ecosystem

case an expense) of one possibility is an

services and they justify the investment of

increase in value in another. A better

resources such as labor, energy and water.


Ecosystem services are the benefits people

measurement of ecosystem services is

obtain from ecosystems. These include

needed to

provisioning services such as food and

assessments that are a key part of the long-

water; regulating services such as flood and

term solution.


disease control; cultural services such as spiritual,




benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient





conditions for life on Earth. They directly or

indirectly allow our survival and quality of life ( ecoserv.htm).



support integrated policy

Information on this subject has increased significantly in recent years, as well as the interest towards it and our decision-makers now have the opportunity to explain to the citizens that the resources used for planting trees are therefore not a cost, but they are an investment that generates common profit, because trees and green

Unlike the economic and human capital,

spaces provide an income (also measurable

natural capital has no dedicated systems of

using the models even available open-

measurement, monitoring and reporting.

source), which is well above the cost

This is surprising given its importance, not


only for the "classic" ecosystem services

maintenance (the cost benefit ratio ranges

mentioned above, but also for the

from 1.3 to 1.9 on worldwide, but some

possibility of creating jobs and contributing

models show benefits up to 3.07, so that

to the future economic development. In

for each euro invested in the green, the

saying this we have only scratched the

annual return rate ranges from 1.3 to 3.07

surface of what trees can offer.

euros). So, in any calculation, full and fair,

A good governance and a good policy of decision-making which affect people and





the trees in the city are worth much more than what they cost. (Continued on page 12)

At the same time, we must not forget that

(Continued from page 11)

trees are mortal beings and, like the rest of It's a real shame that most of the citizens

the animals and plants on our planet, have

and politicians think that our parks,

a life expectancy that differs from species

gardens, urban landscapes and cityscapes

to species. Their life expectancy can be

only in terms of aesthetics, or even worse,

very long, but in a hostile environment and

only in terms of cost and problems.

with wrong management it can be greatly

Although there are no doubts about the

shortened. As trees begin to mature, a real

ornamental value and are known potential

arborist, an certified professional, can see

drawbacks, this should not mask the many,

branches that begin to weaken and can

and certainly much more important,

advise how to intervene with selective

functions they serve in our cities.

pruning to remove weak branches that

So if the trees have value, they are an investment. If they allow our very existence on this planet, if they make life more pleasant, if they beautify our properties, our cities, and our landscapes, why would we entrust their care and management to nonprofessional people

could fall and cause injury. This arborist will give you the best tips to extend the life of your tree(s). And if you receive a recommendation,



that a tree should be cut down, this will reduce the risk you may run if the tree were to fall or be uprooted.

who view the tree only as a source of

In its place we can plant a new tree,

income rather than a living being and a

choosing it properly, with high growth

silent spirit that gives us life? If you ponder

potential – the “right tree in the right

on this, would you entrust a tree to

place”. Even in the choice of which tree to

someone who may shorten its life, who

plant, rely on “true tree professionals”


who will suggest the best species to be

someone who not only makes you pay

planted and a nursery where high quality

directly, but who damages the tree forever,

trees are produced.





reducing its aesthetic and environmental value as well as the value of your property? If the answer is no, then only appoint highly-qualified professionals to work on your trees, people who work “with” and “for” the trees. this must never be forgotten.

Francesco Ferrini Department of Agrifood Production and Environmental Sciences – University of Florence (Italy)

Evidence is a critical part of our daily work. This new book by Julian Dunster provides a comprehensive review of why and how evidence should be collected and documented. Using examples and colour photographs from several decades of experience, the author lays out the steps necessary to provide evidence that accurately reflects conditions on site. This includes the processes necessary to think through what will be needed before the site visit takes place, while on site, and afterwards, when analysing the materials in order to form an opinion based on accurate and unbiased evidence.

The book will be of interest to arborists, foresters, and consultants wishing to show what they did, how they did it, and how they derived their opinions. Recommended retail price is £25. Bulk discounts available. This book can be ordered from the MTOA office

Please click on the image (left) to be taken to the January/February 2015 edition of “CityTrees” the bimonthly publication of the SMA.

The Society of Municipal Arborists presents

The 2015 Urban Tree of the Year

The Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) comprised of urban forestry professionals worldwide, has chosen yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea) as its 2015 Urban Tree of the Year. Here, SMAers share what they love about yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea), the lead author, Doug Still, announced the winner in song with his band, Doug and the Tree Tops, at the SMA Charlotte conference banquet.

lowwoods perhaps 30 to 40 years ago in tiny 3 x 3 foot (.91 x .91 m) sidewalk openings, and I can guess that no one has ever cared for these trees. Despite these inhospitable conditions, there they are, struggling but surviving, winning the war with pavement by heaving and cracking the surrounding concrete slabs (I plan to open up the concrete with an upcoming contract to help these guys out). This demonstrates a certain toughness to the species I didn’t know they had.

Yellowwood is not commonly planted in New England, and local nurseries (I am in Providence, Rhode Island) have them in short supply. I’ve planted several in City parks where the soil is relatively moist and welldrained. In fact, one street in beautiful Roger Williams Park is named “Cladrastis Avenue,” and is just begging for more yellowwood trees to line its gentle bends. However, I’d really like to experiment with using the species as a street tree. We have a grand total of 12 yellowwoods along City streets, limited to two locations. One of them is a small, out-of-the-way street Yellowwood foliage by Emily Hamilton called Marvin Road, tucked away in our West End neighborhood. Someone lined the street with yel-

I believe given more space, better site planning, and early structural pruning, yellowwood can flourish in Providence as a street tree. The lovely foliage, smooth bark, and flowers in early June are worth the effort. —Doug Still, City Forester, Providence, RI The pendulous fragrant white flowers, so reminiscent of wisteria, easily draw the casual admirer to the American yellowwood, Cladrastis kentukea. A true fan, such as I consider myself to be, is also enthralled by the smooth, elephantgrey to light brown bark of the tree’s trunk as well as the lustrous reddish-brown stems of this medium size tree. (Continued on page 16)

(Continued from page 14)

membrance of her spirit and kindness toward children.

Remarkably adaptable to the mid-Missouri weathYellowwood trees admittedly have a maddening er and site conditions, yellowwood is a tree which branching habit, is not particularly generally doing rare but in my Yellowwood bud as seen on the Native Trees of fine until the tree opinion is certainIndiana River Walk: is about chest ly not planted in height, when mulour area nearly tiple leaders and enough. It could included bark bebe that it is not come quite compopularized bemon. Judicious cause in open and timely prununirrigated turf ing can help, areas it’s apt to though at a cerbe a little slow; in tain point, it is my experience I probably reasonahave found that in ble to just accept landscape beds or that good branchirrigated areas it ing structure is grows fairly quicknot this tree’s ly. A favorite yelstrong suit. Yellowwood’s other positive attriblowwood of mine is located in downtown Columutes clearly outweigh this one idiosyncrasy and I bia on the west side of a red brick building; an would suggest that the value and benefit this unforgiving site where the tree spends the early beautiful tree provides makes consideration for morning in deep shade and late afternoon in blazplanting worthwhile in many urban areas.—Brett ing sunlight. Nevertheless, the yellowwood has O’Brien, Natural Resources Supervisor, Columthrived, and the elegant beauty of the tree really bia, Missouri highlights the somber and formal façade of the building. I would love to stake claim on the discovery of One beautiful downtown yellowwood was in peril because starlings were roosting in it, making a mess, alarming the public, and posing a health hazard. We set up a sprinkler in the tree on a timer, and it would turn on for a few minutes every evening around dusk. It worked to deter the starlings, and we were able to save the tree. A pink-flowering cultivar ‘Perkins Pink’ is available; however on the trees I’ve seen the pink seemed rather muted, more like a light blush. In most instances I would recommend the species but there are circumstances where it’s worthwhile to vary. As an example, we planted a ‘Perkins Pink’ yellowwood as part of a memorial project several years ago in a pink flower garden funded by a grieving husband in memory of his wife whom he lost to breast cancer. He requested a landscape which featured early-summer-blooming pink flowers at a local playground in joyful re-

this beautiful street tree candidate, but I am far from the first to recognize its potential. During my attendance at the Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) at the Arbor Day Foundation headquarters in Nebraska last February, we were all treated to a private tour of the grounds and while touring, a cluster of us found a common appreciation for American yellowwood or virgilia (Cladrastis kentukea). We noted its rising popularity as a street tree in our first-hand experiences from Oregon to Nebraska to Massachusetts. Yellowwood is in the Fabaceae family, with beautifully fragrant white pea-like flowers. The buds on yellowwood are among my favorites. When a leaf breaks off, the bud that is exposed is a black, velvety conical bud with gold highlights. It cannot be mistaken for any other bud that I am aware of. This tree may reach up to 50 feet (15 m) in height and almost the same in spread. I have seen beau(Continued on page 18)

The vivid yellow petioles left behind when the yellowwood leaves abscise â—? Photo by Steve Cothrel

(Continued from page 16)

tiful specimens on the campus of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Smith College in Northampton, MA. They both invite the desire for a bit of free-climbing with a book in hand—but be careful of any narrow branch crotches with included bark. (The genus Cladrastis is derived from the Greek klados, meaning “branch,” and thraustos, meaning “fragile.”) Yellowwood is relatively pestfree, seems to do very well in urban conditions so long as it gets adequate water, and Michael Dirr says it is pH adaptable up to about 8.2. It is hardy in Zones 4a through 8b and is native to eastern North America, which is a selling point to some, even with our changing climate and the fact of varying urban micro-environments. Pruning for good structure should be performed when the tree is young; otherwise it can tend to develop multiple competing leaders. Pruning is recommended in the summer rather than spring or fall due to its tendency towards excessive sap bleeding or weeping. Cornell’s Urban Horticulture Institute says yellowwood is easy to transplant B&B or under 2-inch (51 mm) caliper bare root. In our common search for greater street tree diversity, I would consider this tree with confidence and pleasure. —Emily Hamilton, City Environmental Technician and Landscape Reviewer, Surrey, British Columbia As of December, 2014 there are 875 yellowwood trees planted along the streets of the District of Columbia. About six years ago, I was part of a subgroup of foresters here at the District’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) trying to update and expand our (Department of Transportation’s) planting lists for diversity and under-wire tree varieties. One of the first trees I added was yellowwood because of two trees I’d encountered and remembered vividly.

The first yellowwood tree that struck me was planted as part of the formal rose and cutting garden of John Quincy Adams’s home in Quincy, Massachusetts. I was working at the time for the National Park Service and with Robert McKenzie, the head gardener at the John Q. Adams National Historic Park. This tree was truly the anchor of the garden and was forever burned in my memory, especially how it looked in full bloom. It is believed to have been planted by J.Q. Adams and his wife in 1831 as a memorial tree. The other unforgettable tree was a hidden yellowwood on the campus of Northeastern University, where this specimen helped cheer me during the doldrums of campus life. When I added yellowwood to our planting list as a desirable tree, one of my thoughts was that because it’s a legume, yellowwood might be a good tree to try in poor soil conditions, but according to Michael Dirr this is not the case. However, we at the UFA believe it serves as a great medium sized native tree for under wires; it has a broad rounded canopy form, but the branching tends to lend to a V-shaped crown that is promising for underwire situations. It does have weak branching to consider. In the past two planting seasons, UFA increased its planting volume to approximately 8000 individuals (of various species), up from a standard 4200 trees three years ago. In 2012, we planted more yellowwood than any other tree for the 2012/2013 street planting season, surpassing oak, chokecherry, maple, black gum, and dawn redwood. Thus far the majority of the delivered yellowwoods were planted east of the Anacostia River in Wards 7 & 8. The only issue that we are running into with yellowwood specifically is stocking. Our contractors are having difficulty sourcing the amount of yellowwoods that we have requested; we hope that the nursery industry will begin including this tree in their propagation programs and inventory. —

Duff McCully, Lead Urban Forester at District Department of Transportation- Urban Forestry Administration, Washington, DC Yellowwood is used widely in urban settings in Indiana. We have a forest called Yellowwood State Forest, with just one stand of yellowwood in the southeast corner of the property. Since most people can’t hike that far in to see the native stand, staff planted a specimen in front of the forest office to see let folks see the forest’s namesake. It is well cared for—subject to the stresses of a recreational area and adjacent parking lot—but it’s doing ok. It’s in an urban site in the middle of a forest! —Pam Louks, IN2Trees, An arborist friend of mine asked if I could plant a yellowwood as a street tree to replace a Bradford pear that had been removed. I was unfamiliar with the species, but I saw it as a way to increase tree diversity and add a native species along the street which was then heavy with Bradford pear and redbud. It is still being evaluated for further use as a street tree, but so far the species seems to tolerate urban conditions, especially alkaline pH, and it has consistently shown good fall color. —Paul Eriksson, Natural Resources Specialist, City of Cumberland, Maryland

A mature yellowwood specimen by Emily Hamilton

Twenty new Chalara cases per month as minister admits "there is no magic bullet" The spread of ash dieback, caused by the pathogen Chalara fraxinea, is showing no signs of slowing, with latest Forestry Commission figures showing that nearly a thousand sites across the UK are now affected. The Commission's figures show that out of 949 sites affected, 525 are established woodland, 398 are recently planted sites, and 26 are nurseries. This shows a tripling of infected sites since the end of 2012, when the figure stood at 323. Its spread now extends from Cornwall to Moray, but has made rapid progress over the past year in Lancashire, Northumberland and central Scotland in particular. Environment secretary Liz Truss told The Daily Telegraph: "We are doing all we can on ash dieback. It is a serious issue. "We're looking at various ways of dealing with it but we don't have a magic bullet. We don't have a solution and we're still carrying out research on that." The government has committed over £16.5 million into tree health research which includes identifying a strain of ash tree which is naturally resistant to the disease.

Substantial fine for builder who felled protected trees on churchyard boundary A builder has been fined £14,000 for felling two protected trees in a Lincolnshire conservation area. Following an investigation by East Lindsey District Council, Terrence Batten of Old Bolingbroke was found to have felled a holly and a cypress in the village without necessary notification. Boston Magistrates Court imposed a £12,000 fine plus £700 costs and £1,200 victim surcharge yesterday (Wednesday 10 December). The court heard that members of the public and residents were "upset and distressed" at the impact of the felling on the adjacent St Peter and St Paul's Church, and had contacted the council to report their concerns. Batten declined an invitation to be interviewed under caution, but in court pleaded guilty to offences under section 210 of the Town and Country Planning Act. The council's arboricultural officer Robert Taylor said: "In carrying out this work Mr Batten showed a complete disregard for the conservation area and the protection this affords trees within it. "The level of fine reflects that this was a serious breach of the law, causing harm to the character of the area and a great deal of distress to local people."

Calling all MTOA’ers You are being invited to take part in a research study being carried out by Plumpton College student Dina J Mysko. The purpose of the study is to ascertain what current understanding is on recent pests and diseases that are threatening Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum and whether their impact has an influence on current and future tree planting. As a manager of individual trees, tree populations and collections in the UK, whether you are an Arboricultural Manager, Tree Officer, Arboriculturist or other your feedback is an integral part of this research project. You are only required to answer 8 short questions from an online questionnaire once. These questions should take just a few minutes to answer. Please follow the link to the questionnaire here: forms/PFAzqjmXmF Your participation in the study is anonymous throughout. The feedback that you supply is also received anonymously through Google Forms. Should you require further information about the study please see the attached information sheet. Should you wish to contact myself or my supervisor you'll find our contact details at the end of the information sheet. Please follow the link to the questionnaire here: Dina J. Mysko

Quirky Estonian oak tree entry wins Tree of the Year contest The results of the European Tree of the Year contest have been announced, with an oak tree in the middle of a football pitch in Estonia winning with 59,836 votes, nearly a third of the almost 185,000 votes cast in total. Thought to be around 500 years old, the tree on the island of Saaremaa survived efforts to pull it down during the Stalin era. Competitive matches continue to be played around it. England's Major Oak was the highest placed UK entrant in 6th place with 9,941 votes, while Scotland's entry was 9th and Wales' 10th out of 14 participating countries. Image: Elina Kalm

The trees also join the European Trail of Trees, where people have the opportunity to find out more about trees in the contest across Europe. The contest which began in 2011 is organised by the Czech-based Environmental Partnership Association. This was the first year that an entry for England was submitted, by the Woodland Trust, which intends also to enter trees into the 2016 contest

The relationship between tree officers and arboricultural consultants............. ...........sharing a vision Sharon Hosegood


e work with the best and most versatile product in the world. It beautifies, cleanses, nourishes, and heals. It is useful, practical and renewable. It creates landscapes, habitats and communities. It is an asset that gets more valuable with time. Everyone has seen it and touched it.

had to fell it to get the crane in. Why wasn’t that picked up earlier? This new site is important to your company, Block Builder Homes. You are tired of people muddling you up with Barnacle Homes and you want to show a difference. You hope your ‘arbo-whatsit’ consultant gets on with the tree officer as the site is controversial and the pressure is on from head office. Stress….

And we work with it!

It’s another day at the office. You open your emails to see an urgent request to attend a meeting tomorrow for Block Builder Homes at Mediocre City Council. You have barely got time to appraise their layout. At least it was drawn up after the tree survey this time. They are

But pests, diseases, noisy complainers, budget cuts, profiteering and simple lack of understanding are the day to day concerns in our industry which can dull our passion.... It’s another day at the office. You open your emails to see another complaint from Mr Toomuchtime about the felled tree on a site; he’s got the local councillor on the case and this could escalate. You have four site visits this afternoon and you really want to help a worried local resident with a protected tree issue. You’ve got to write up the TPO applications as they are nearly out of time. It was easier before they moved Sue in admin to a central customer service centre. But here’s an email reminder to go on a time management course this morning and you have got to prepare for a meeting tomorrow with Block Builder Homes. This site could be controversial, and you really want to make a difference but the planning officer hardly listens to you. Stress…. It’s another day at the office. You open your emails to see another complaint from the Local Authority about the felled tree on the site. You

learning, but there’s that business about the felled tree and the crane. It could be awkward with the tree officer tomorrow; you need to show that it is not a cynical exercise. You really want to make a difference, but it’s all a bit stressful. It is depressing and perplexing to hear how local government cuts affect the critical role of tree officers. It’s not just tree budgets; but admin cuts, re-structuring pressures and lost posts. Many tree officers feel isolated and misunderstood, even an uncomfortable nuisance. How can this be when we have such a wealth of expertise, guidance and best practice? How can this be when the government’s proposal to sell off our public estate raised such an outcry? How can this be when ash dieback disease became headline news? Have we missed an opportunity to tap into the public’s love of trees? The planning system is powerful. The person in the snapshot story with the power is the tree officer. Consultants have no statutory power, only opinion. But using imagination and persuasion can create a different intellectual landscape; one that can deliver societal change. Here are thirteen critical milestones in the planning process to ensure sustainable tree care. 1. A robust community audited Tree Strategy (TDAG* 2).

2. Inclusion of tree planting within infrastructure costs as part of the Community Infrastructure Levy. 3. Specific tree policies in the Local Development Framework (TDAG 3). 4. A culture of understanding the importance of trees within the planning department. 5. A Local Authority site planning brief on larger sites which guides development. 6. Early instruction of the arboricultural consultant at the pre-site acquisition stage to identify arboricultural constraints and opportunities. (TDAG 4). 7. A good relationship with the consultant, the tree officer, the design team and the client. Collaboration! 8. Effective use of S106 to deliver community engagement and land management. 9. Robust and detailed tree related planning conditions, including site monitoring and supervision. 10. Site supervision carried out by the consultant and an audit record sent to the local authority. 11. Detailed landscaping conditions, including site monitoring by the landscape architect at the planting stage to ensure the correct species and cultivars are planted and to the correct specification. Details of planting maintenance to be conditioned. 12. Involvement of the arboriculturists at the post -planning detailed construction phase. Collaboration! (TDAG 5 and 6). 13. An effective enforcement system. Not all councils have adopted the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Each council has their own list of how CIL will be spent (a Regulation 123 list) which details how the ‘planning tax’ is spent. Essentially, as this is to deliver particular infrastructure projects; listing tree planting as part of this would guarantee a tree planting budget. This is distinct from S106, which is (Continued on page 26)

(Continued from page 25)

normally scaled back once CIL is in place. I wonder how many tree officers have been consulted on this by their planning colleagues. That is all achievable and there is nothing new here, but let’s think about taking it to the next level.

consulting the groups before planning and this principle is embedded in the planning conditions and legal agreement. This is good for the site, enjoyable for all and good for the client’s brand. So how did the meeting go? Was it just another day at the office?... Imagine

They got the difficult bit over first; three new At the time of the application, the developer trees to replace the one felled because of the wants a swift result. I have found clients very necessity to have crane access, one of which open to suggestions of new would be planted in the local planting and involving the school. The tree officer and the community in managing small consultant, working together, woodlands on site and getting produced a scheme to manage, involved with new planting. plant, and involve local people to Many people feel disconnected carry out the work on the pocket from the planning process and of land on the new site which was are suspicious of change, but rather overgrown, improving it for done the right way, development the people and enhancing the can provide an opportunity for ecological value. Block Builder local people to get involved. homes said it would be great for This is in line with TDAG 9. their PR, as they were looking to “working together, Here are two cases where this show that they were different to produced a scheme to has happened. other builders, and to cap it all, manage, plant, and the tree officer said that it could involve local people” Example 1 – Broomfield Hospital, all be tied up in a section 106 Essex. When the hospital was agreement. So as well as good tree redeveloped, an S106 agreement care and new planting, they could obliged the NHS Trust to manage their two unlock a piece of un-loved land at the back of onsite woodlands to benefit the landscape, the site, get local people involved, AND enhance ecology and people. This lead to a long the biodiversity of the area. standing community engagement project which not only improved the appearance of the area, So. That’s what could happen. but also made many volunteers feel valued and The planning system can deliver great benefits, changed the culture of the estates staff. The but we need to work together. We may not, and Trust enjoyed the awards too. perhaps should not, always agree, but we are It was delivered by the collective vision of the linked. Consultants need strong tree officers planning department, and the Trust’s design with vision. Tree officers need engaged team and was embedded in legal agreement. arboriculturists with passion and commitment. We have the best product and great academic Example 2 – a landlocked derelict contaminated resources but we also have a responsibility to let site (2ha) in north London. This site has people know how important trees are. recently been given planning permission and the client wants to demonstrate their community Our landscape needs us to work together. Let’s and ecological credentials to make this an fall back in love with working with the best exemplar project. They gave the design team product in the world and hope our passion is free rein to use their imaginations, and to infectious. develop a strategy to manage two small neglected woodlands and create exciting natural Sharon Hosegood spaces using community groups. They started *TDAG Trees in the Townscape November 2012

Tree Strategy

or street tragedy?


know, it’s an odd title, but bear with me: there’s a reason for it…

As tree officers or consultants or whatever it is we do connected with trees, there are days when we wish we were elsewhere, that the phone would stop ringing, that we didn’t have 500 mediocre street trees to survey (which will inevitably provoke the residents into us being the butt of all the Councils ills) and the IT is down again... Many of us started our careers ‘on the tools’ and the further we have progressed the further we are separated from that constant contact with trees and the outdoors. So, the very reason that we embarked on our careers or jobs -back in the day- is diminished, or perhaps we feel that it is. In particular tree officers are feeling the pinch at the moment with Council budgets being cut, potential redundancies and increased work pressures resulting from the loss and subsequent non -replacement of staff. In ‘LG’ land there seems to be little reason to be cheerful or enthusiastic.

However if you consider that we actually still work with trees for a living there is much to be grateful for. If I may borrow the words of a couple of great writers, I think the following quotations nicely illustrate what the point of this piece is: “One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound men and women with their hearts in a safe

deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” ― Edward Abbey

other awesome, inspiring or fascinating trees, features or landscapes. Perhaps you’ll lose those couple of minutes to the task you’re engaged in but by taking that time

What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass. No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night. No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance. No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began. A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies

You can keep those small victories as an everyday occurrence too. Even if it’s just having a wallpaper of an inspiring tree on your desktop and changing it every month! Mine is currently Thomas Hardy’s Ash at the Old St Pancras Churchyard (Google it). Or maybe stopping for a couple of minutes to identify that curious looking tree in a back garden, or a roadside veteran, massive tree failure, stupendous display of fungi or any number of

you’ll have refreshed your motivation, rejuvenated your enthusiasm (possibly even saved your sanity!) and renewed that sense of wonder that brought you into the profession in the first place. Don’t lose the wonder, there’s nothing more important.

Gareth Hare.

MAKE A DATE IN YOUR DIARY: KEY 2015 TREE COUNCIL CAMPAIGN DATES 2015 promises to be a busy one and with the launch of the Tree Care Campaign only a month away, we thought it would be useful to remind you of the Tree Council’s community action campaigns of 2015 that you wouldn’t want to miss! The campaign theme for 2014-15 is centred around the importance of trees to neighbourhoods, encouraging social cohesion through related activities – Grow Together. More than 90% of the population lives in towns and cities (2010 Defra statistics ) so the trees are their neighbours as much as the other people in their communities are neighbours. We want to remind everyone that there are trees close to where they live, work or spend their time, that people can see and benefit from: to encourage communities to think local, to improve their neighbourhood for both people and trees. TREE CARE CAMPAIGN: Saturday 21st March – Monday 21st September 2015 TEND AND GROW TOGETHER The annual campaign highlights the need for better care for all trees, in order to ensure their survival and increase the numbers reaching maturity. In particular, anyone who has planted trees in the past 5 years is reminded to involve their local community and revisit them to carry out a few simple tree care tasks that can save young trees from dying and allow them to develop into the mature trees. This helps enhance our urban and rural landscape, provide shade and local climate change, and supports biodiversity. WALK IN THE WOODS: Friday 1st May - Sunday 31st of May 2015 WALK AND GROW TOGETHER In May every year, community groups, environmental organisations, local authorities and volunteer Tree Wardens organise Walks in the Woods – events as diverse as bluebell trails and healthy walking routes, bat and badger watches, treasure hunts, tree trails and woodland open days. It is also an annual reminder that more trees and woodlands need to be planted now if there are to be any for future generations to enjoy. SEED GATHERING SEASON: Wednesday 23rd September to Friday 23rd October 2015 Through this autumn festival The Tree Council aims to inspire everyone, particularly school children and families, to gather seeds, fruits and nuts and grow the trees of the future. Growing trees from local seed can have great benefits in restocking areas with trees of local provenance. The concept of local provenance suggests that trees that are adapted to the local circumstances and so are likely to flourish and help restore, conserve and beautify local urban and rural spaces. NATIONAL TREE WEEK: Saturday 28th November to Sunday 6th of December 2015 First mounted in 1975, National Tree Week is the UK's largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season. It is also a great chance for communities to do something positive for their local treescape. Each year, The Tree Council's member organisations such as voluntary bodies and local authorities, up to 200 schools and community groups, 8,000 Tree Wardens and many others, support the initiative by setting up fun, worthwhile and accessible events, inspiring upward of a quarter of a million people to get their hands dirty and together plant around a million trees.


9.30am - 5pm

Instructor: Chris Neilan 2

May 11th 2015

Location: Bicton Agricultural College, Devon

What is CAVAT CAVAT (Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees) is an asset valuation tool developed in the UK, primarily for the public tree stock, expressing the worth of trees in terms of their relative public amenity and enabling trees to be managed as public assets, not liabilities. It also gives a robust and defensible value for individual trees- greatly assisting in achieving realistic replacement costs where publicly owned trees are illegally harmed or damaged. It is intended particularly for councils and other public authorities; however it may be used by other public bodies, including the courts, private institutions and individuals and in relation to privately owned trees. It complements other analytic tools for trees, including i-Tree.

Who should attend? This workshop is designed for all those with an interest in the management of urban trees and who wish to understand the theory and practice of tree valuation, with an emphasis on CAVAT in particular. This will include arboriculturists responsible for tree care and management in local government, arboricultural consultants, urban foresters, non-profit tree organisations, community leaders, environmental consultants, planners and students.

What you will learn? The day has been designed to ensure that it will enable participants to:

Understand the general background to tree valuation in the UK;

Understand what CAVAT is for and how and when it should be used;

Differentiate the two CAVAT methods;

Have a brief introduction to CAVAT as an asset management tool;

Understand each stage of the Full CAVAT method for individual valuations;

Have the opportunity to test understanding of the Full method in practice;

Be offered the opportunity to become a certificated CAVAT user.

Price - £ 100.00 including Lunch.

For booking and directions and further course details please contact: Sarah Hutchings EaRTH Co-Ordinator Bicton CollegeEast Budliegh Budliegh Salterton DevonEX9 7BY Tel: 01395 562 360 email:

Ahead of the MTOA’s June meeting we introduce you to BIFoR who will be both hosting the meeting and presenting their current work.

Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) A New Institute and its 10-year experiment on the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on woodland ecosystems


s every MTOA member knows, the UK was colonised by trees from the Continent after the last ice age, with forests eventually covering virtually the entire land mass. Globally, forests are critical components of global carbon, nutrient and water cycles, influence the thermal balance of the planet, and are home to more than half of all species. In their own right, and as part of a mosaic of land-uses, forests in the UK and across the world deliver economic, environmental, and social services to underpin the production of food and clean water and the breakdown of waste products. Through both industrialisation and deforestation, humans have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere by over 40% since the industrial revolution. This, coupled with emissions of other greenhouse gases, is altering our climate (temperature, rainfall, seasonality and the occurrence of extreme events). Our understanding of the extent of these changes and their impacts on forests is still only partially understood, and the majority of biological studies have focused on seedlings and saplings in greenhouses and climate chambers.

As a result of an exceptional £15M philanthropic gift, and underpinned by substantial University of Birmingham investment, a new research institute, BIFoR, has been set up to address the interrelated and time-urgent challenges that threaten our forest natural capital and the value and services that it provides. At the Core of the BIFoR initiative is a unique long-term experimental facility, at Mill Haft on the Norbury Estate, Staffordshire. The field facility will enable trees to be exposed to elevated concentrations of CO2 using the free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) methodology, which removes the artificial environment of climate chambers. There have only been a handful of such systems used to study forests, mostly in the US and predominantly on young, planted tree stands as opposed to mature and complex native forests. The BIFoR FACE Experiment BIFoR FACE is to be installed in mature, unmanaged, deciduous temperate woodland – a picture of the tree canopy is shown overleaf. By subjecting patches of the woodland to CO2 concentrations of 150 ppmv

above the ambient levels (the current global average concentration is close to 400 ppmv), we gain direct evidence of the response this landscape to the levels of CO2 expected to prevail by 2050-2100. The FACE technique isolates the effect of elevated CO2 whilst retaining the complexity of the ecosystem. In order to separate prompt and transient responses from sustained long-term responses, the FACE experiment, including baseline pre-fumigation measurements, is designed to run for more than a decade — much, much longer than conventional lab and chamber experiments.

BIFoR FACE really is a key component of mankind’s journey to “planet plant”.

In order to detect a signal, and to ensure that the installation of the FACE experiment has not itself produced a change in the ecosystem, control rings are installed in which ambient air is used instead of CO2enriched air; a second set of ambient, noninfrastructure, patches will also be used, adding further strength to the experimental design. All in all, FACE experiments are somewhat akin to space programmes, or large physics experiments like the Large Hadron Collider, in their requirements for sustained and stringent quality assurance and quality control. As one of 4 such largescale forest FACE experiments in the world,

b. Do other macro- or micro-nutrients limit the uptake of carbon in this ecosystem now, or are they likely to in the future?

Aims and Objectives BIFoR FACE is designed to address the following research questions: a. Does elevated CO2 increase the carbon storage in a mature temperate deciduous woodland ecosystem?

c. What aspects of biodiversity and ecosystem structure-and-function alter under elevated CO2 and how do these alterations feed back onto carbon storage?

(Continued on page 34)

This illustration shows the FACE experiment constructed within the forest

Objective D, above, will be especially relevant to MTOA members, and will require work to be carried out in other woodland and non-woodland settings. The Institute is already working with Forest Research on urban tree allometry; over time it may be possible to link the results of BIFoR FACE to the inadvertent fumigation experiment carried out on urban trees every day, and so help us find ways to nurture all our trees as they are subjected to increasing environmental and social pressures.

Hannah Eno d. How can lessons learnt from BIFoR FACE be generalised to other woodlands and forests, using other research woodlands, including the global network of secondgeneration Forest FACE experiments, and stakeholder engagement.

Major Gifts Manager (Trusts and Foundations) University of Birmingham

The BIFoR buildings and surroundings within the University of Birmingham

Disappointment as government rejects call for greater protection for ancient woodland Government response to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry into the Operation of the National Planning Policy Framework The Government has disregarded recommendations made by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee to strengthen protection for ancient woodland within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Please see the extract Recommendation 2 We recommend that the Government amend paragraph 118 of the NPPF to state that any loss of ancient woodland should be “wholly exceptional”. We further recommend that the Government initiate work with Natural England and the Woodland Trust to establish whether more ancient woodland could be designated as sites of special scientific interest and to consider what the barriers to designation might be. 11.The Government recognises the value and irreplaceable nature of ancient woodland but does not accept the Committee’s recommendation that the current wording in paragraph 118 of the Framework should be amended to state that any loss of ancient woodland should be "wholly exceptional". The Government considers that the existing protection for ancient woodland in the Framework is strong and it is very clear that development of these areas should be avoided. It maintains the level of protection in planning policy prior to the Framework, which has not changed over the last decade and is broadly equivalent with the protection for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in the Framework. 12. The Government acknowledges the further recommendation and this work is already underway. Natural England is responsible for the designation of Sites of Special Scientific Interest. It is already working on identifying further ancient woodland suitable for designation as SSSIs, and is aware of potential barriers to designation and the role the Woodland Trust could play in helping address some of these barriers.

New standard for planning and managing tree work at height available now The Arboricultural Association has announced the launch of a new Industry Code of Practice (ICOP) for Tree Work at Height. The aim of the document is to provide consistent and safe methods for managing resources, personnel and equipment to ensure safe and efficient working practices when working at height. As such the standard provides managing and planning guidance for the responsible and competent person within an organisation and is not intended to be a technical guide to the detailed processes – although it is expected that such guides will emerge in the future and will refer to the ICOP. The ICOP offers a clearly defined methodology for planning, resourcing and managing tree work. Communication channels, roles and responsibilities, resource requirements, competencies and pre-work site assessment all need to be considered to ensure safe and effective tree work.

Treetop walkway and management centre announced for Westonbirt Phase Two of the redevelopment of Westonbirt Arboretum will include a 13m-high treetop walkway, giving visitors a new perspective on the Gloucestershire attraction's trees and landscape. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum has hit its £1.9 million fundraising target for the work, raised from donations from "hundreds" of individuals as well as companies, trusts and foundations. As well as the Treetop Walkway, a planned Tree Management Centre can now be realised thanks to a grant from the Wolfson Foundation. This will help staff manage the tree collection more efficiently, while also allowing visitors to learn about how the collection is managed. Run by the Forestry Commission, the 240hectare site is home to five national collections and contains nearly 15,000 labelled specimens. Construction work on the Tree Management Centre has already begun, with work on the Treetop Walkway likely to begin in summer. A new £1.4m visitor centre was unveiled at the arboretum last June

Substantial fine for builder who felled protected trees on churchyard boundary A builder has been fined £14,000 for felling two protected trees in a Lincolnshire conservation area. Following an investigation by East Lindsey District Council, Terrence Batten of Old Bolingbroke was found to have felled a holly and a cypress in the village without necessary notification. Boston Magistrates Court imposed a £12,000 fine plus £700 costs and £1,200 victim surcharge yesterday (Wednesday 10 December). The court heard that members of the public and residents were "upset and distressed" at the impact of the felling on the adjacent St Peter and St Paul's Church, and had contacted the council to report their concerns. Batten declined an invitation to be interviewed under caution, but in court pleaded guilty to offences under section 210 of the Town and Country Planning Act. The council's arboricultural officer Robert Taylor said: "In carrying out this work Mr Batten showed a complete disregard for the conservation area and the protection this affords trees within it. "The level of fine reflects that this was a serious breach of the law, causing harm to the character of the area and a great deal of distress to local people."

Devastation from Phytophthora ramorum leads to rebirth of Welsh forest A south Wales larch forest clear-felled due to disease is being replanted with a wider species range for timber, wildlife and amenity value. Around 650 hectares of larch affected by or at risk from Phytophthora ramorum have been felled in Afan Forest Park near Port Talbot. Natural Resources Wales has said the aim is to build a forest more resilient to climate change and potential new diseases, while also increasing biodiversity, improving water quality and reducing flooding. Its operational resources manager Andy Schofield said: "Like so many of the south Wales forests, this disease has had a significant impact, resulting in the felling of thousands of infected trees. "However, we are now implementing ambitious long-term plans for the recovery of the forest park which we believe has huge potential to improve the economic and social well-being of the area."

The long term plan for the forest, which covers almost 4,000 hectares, splits the forest into different zones including:

around 2,000 hectares of conifer and broadleaves for timber production;

around 1,000 hectares of native broadleaves like oak, aspen, birch and lime;

around 400 hectares of open habitats for heathland and wetland species;

around 300 hectares of restored peatland to

store carbon and regulate water flows. Similar long-term plans have been developed for Cwmcarn Forest in Ebbw Vale, where felling work to tackle the disease, which has infected around 150,000 larch trees, will start shortly. In all, P. ramorum has infected approximately 6.7 million larch trees in Wales, of which Natural Resources Wales has so far felled nearly 3 million. Revenue from sale of the timber is reinvested into the Welsh Government's Woodland Estate.


A "devastated" F

Tree Preservation Order Richard Nicholson Team Leader Trees and Landscape Section


Christchurch and East Dorset Councils

or the last few years I have worked outside mainstream arboriculture, managing a series of projects to develop open space provision in Poole, Dorset. Not being a Completer-finisher by nature I left Poole Council before the last two projects were completed, to take up a Planning Manager role with responsibility for arboriculture and landscape at the combined Christchurch and East Dorset Councils. Driving round familiar haunts (I worked at east Dorset Council in the 1990’s) what struck me was not how few trees had been felled and how many had been planted, but what had happened to the remaining woodland in the built up areas? It was obvious that some were being lined up for development because of the amount of felling that had been going on. Two woodlands in particular, both subject to a woodland classification tree preservation order are now a shadow of their former selves. How had this happened? Coupled with my revisiting parts of East Dorset I have been having conversations with two Tree

Officers in the Midlands who I met at a CAS event in Malvern before Christmas and who have issues with woodland TPOs. One has a large woodland TPO dating from the 1950’s into which the Council have allowed housing and infrastructure so it is no longer a wood. The challenge with this order, which the tree officer fully admits could be overcome if he had resources to vary or revoke and remake the TPO, are species being planted that are unsuitable for woodlands and whether or not to TPO replacement planting. I’m not going to discuss replacement planting in woodland TPOs here but I did give him my view based on pragmatism as much as law. But then I’m not a lawyer. Anyway, what has been happening closer to home is that TPO applications have been made for felling of trees within woodland based on the fact that they are poor or unsuitable specimens and/ or health reasons and/or thinning out. A series of such applications would leave the woodland overthinned and then there is a further application because of a risk of windblow and suddenly oh look, a wooded plot that with a little more felling could easily accommodate a couple of houses.

Fetcham woodland

(a) shall specify the trees, groups of trees or woodlands to which it relates; It’s not trees within a woodland, it is the woodland that is protected; there is a subtle difference here. Have a look at Part 4 of the same Regulations which states at 17 (3): Where an application relates to an area of woodland, the authority shall grant consent so far as accords with the practice of good forestry, unless they are satisfied that the granting of consent would fail to secure the maintenance of the special character of the woodland or the woodland character of the area.

Goodbye woodland. Now this obviously only occurs where consent has been granted and replacement planting not enforced, so I am not having a pop at those wily consultants and contractors here. It is for LPAs to protect and enforce the TPOs they make and to grant and refuse consent accordingly; applicants or their agents can apply for whatever they want. So here we are at the purpose of this piece: I want to take this opportunity to remind LPAs what the legislation says so that they don’t face a similar situation. We know that a woodland classification is different from a group, individual or area classification. We also know that an area, or a group or individual (would that ever happen?) TPO cannot be modified before confirmation into a woodland TPO. The 2012 Tree Preservation Order Regulations state at Part 2, 3 (1): An order shall be in the form set out in the Schedule to these Regulations or in a form substantially to the same effect and—

Two things: first, the wording of the legislation might have been slightly different before 2012. I accept that but some of the applications that EDDC has received were dealt with under the 2012 Regs. Secondly, surely taking poor specimens etc. out of woodland is good practice? Difficult to generalise here, each application must be dealt with on its merits and the reasons provided for requesting the work have to be balanced with the public amenity offered. But perhaps not good practice if it fails to secure the maintenance of the woodland character of the area? We need to look at the new guidance that replaces the Blue Book. It is in the form of the Planning Practice Guidance Tree Preservation Orders and Trees in Conservation Areas. Take another look at Section 8 ‘Taking decisions on applications for consent under a Tree Preservation Order’. For applications for woodland TPOs the guidance makes reference to the UK Forestry Standard, the reference for sustainable forest management. My point: LPAs that are blind to the background legislation and guidance when dealing with applications for work to TPO’d woodlands will find that the woodland character is changed as a result. If that is the case, don’t blame the applicant or the owner, gain some knowledge and do your job.

Heterobasidion annosum

Annosum root-rot. Fig. 1: The upper surface of a mature fruiting body.


nother issue, another fungus! This beauty was chosen because it is one of the major arboricultural fungi and also because on a recent stroll through a local woodland, I managed to find about 20 fruit bodies without really trying, both on cut stumps and on living trees.

before the tree becomes hazardous. Decay can spread into the main stem, although in highly resinous species such as Scots pine, it is often confined to the root area. According to Lonsdale (2010), the main sources of inoculum are the stumps of nearby trees, which have been cut but are still living. The infection is then transmitted to nearby healthy trees In silvicultural terms, H. annosum is one of the most via contact with root tissue. destructive and economically significant forest pathogens in the northern hemisphere. One study reH. annosum is relatively easy to identify, especially ported the annual economic losses attributed to H. in late winter time when very few other fungi are annosum to be over 800 million Euros in Europe present. It will be seen first as a white growth on alone. It affects primarily conifers; the pines, firs the lower stem or roots, often concealed beneath and spruces, but is occasionally found on broadthe leaf litter, and will mould itself across the conleaves, such as birch and oak. tours of the bark surface. It then develops into a rubbery, irregular bracket, with a deep red/purple H. annosum attacks the roots of host trees, killing upper surface (figure 1), a reddish margin (figure 2) first the bark and cambium layer, before then deand a cream-white underside, with finely spaced grading the lignin of the roots, leading to a stringy pores. Unlike Ganoderma, or Meripilus, the pore white-rot. Symptoms vary considerably across spelayer won’t bruise or discolour when damaged cies, but can include discolouration and loss of foli- (figure 3), but will often exude small droplets of waage, and overall crown die-back, before the entire ter, which condense within the pore tubes. Cutting a tree is killed off, which can take up to three years. (Continued on page 44) Due to the decay pattern, death is likely to occur

Fig. 2: The clear dark-red line dividing the upper and lower surfaces, often seen in young fungi.

Fig. 3: Finely spaced pores, which may appear faintly pink.

for extremely pleasant and soft walking on my woodland frolic, it was clear that it also provided fruiting body open reveals pore tubes that run althe perfect environment for fungi to thrive and most to the upper layer (figure 4), along with a spread from tree to tree throughout the plantation. strong and pleasant mushroomy smell, like that of Simply lifting a few leaves revealed a large mat of puffballs. mycelia (figure 5) around the base of each infected tree, which may not have been present in a purely One noticeable observation I made during my recent coniferous plantation. This will be of no help to bimble through the forest was the huge amount of these trees, but perhaps avoiding this species mix sweet chestnut leaves that still thickly covered the could be worth considering for future mixed plantground from the previous year. While this did make ings? (Continued from page 42)

Fig. 4: Cut fruiting body, revealing the length of the pore tube layer.

Practical management strategies in this case would be costly on such a large scale, although some have been shown to be effective. Urea-based compounds for example, result in the formation of ammonia, which raises the pH beyond that in which H. annosum mycelium can survive. Also, the pathogenic fungi Phlebiopsis gigantea has been used successfully to minimise the spread of H. annosum in forest plantations. All of these management strategies remain relatively impractical however, and finding effective and resistant species mixes seems to be the most suitable solution. Either way, this fungus remains a formidable force for forest trees, and is one well worth watching out for.

All pictures taken by the author. References: Lonsdale, D. (2010) Principles of tree hazard assessment and management. 10th ed. London: The Stationery Office.

Fig. 5: Mycelial mat, seen upon removing the surface leaf layer.

by David Moore, Forester, New York City Parks Department (


he purpose of this article is to share how the New York City Parks Department streamlined our system for making tree species selections for 25,000 street tree plantings a year. We hope that our system provides useful insights that can be adapted and customized to the needs of other cities undertaking street tree planting.

conditions we come across. Each site is its own habitat or biotope (a subsection of a biome) for a tree. We aimed to define the various environmental conditions that would set one street tree biotope apart from another.

This was a difficult task given the diverse landscapes of New York City. We had to choose the most significant criteria influencing a forester’s Background selection decision. If we split hairs, we could have The MillionTreesNYC initiative was catalyzed by hundreds of different biotopes, but such a specific research that shows on average, New York City classification system wouldn’t be very helpful to street trees currently return $5.60 to the community anyone in the field. But by framing the biotopes a for every $1 spent on management.1 In the course little more broadly, they would be more easily of fulfilling the mission of MillionTreesNYC, NYC identified in the field. Parks Department foresters are tasked with designing planting spaces and selecting tree species How did we determine the most significant and for each site, then overseeing construction and common criteria impacting tree selection? Many community engagement. conditions are already held constant across the City for various reasons—for example, because of Two factors that affect plant selection in NYC: to contract specifications. For instance, soil guarantee biodiversity, we use over 250 different composition within the tree bed is uniform because tree species, cultivars, and selections grown under each excavation is backfilled with a specified contract by tree nurseries in the region. Second, the topsoil. There are also some conditions that vary, planting sites that we survey have varying however uncommonly. For instance, the majority of environmental constraints. planting sites will have a full-sun condition because streets are typically wide relative to building height, Selection can be a simple task on a tree-by-tree but some sites will be outliers with a partial-sun basis, but this is not efficient when it comes to condition. making thousands of selections per season. We needed a decision making protocol to ensure Additional major factors to consider: there is a consistency and accuracy throughout the urban dramatic range of how “urban” a planting site can forestry program, while considering the reality of be across the City—parts of Manhattan resemble a our foresters’ time constraints. We also wanted to concrete jungle, while parts of the outer boroughs optimize the net benefits of our tree plantings by consist of single family homes with lush lawns and systematically maximizing each planting site’s quiet streets. Another big factor is whether or not a potential. planting site has overhead power lines; if such wires Developing a Classification System for Street Tree Planting Sites Our first task was to develop a classification system to distinguish the different street tree planting

are present, only a small ornamental tree species would be chosen. (Most neighborhoods throughout the outer boroughs have electric power lines over one side of the street.)

A third major factor is the total soil volume available Vertical Clearance to the tree. Typically trees are headed for cut-outs -The vertical clearance criterion determines whether that have been shaped and sized to accommodate both the tree and pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk. an “underwire” (dwarf or ornamental) tree is needed. These cut-outs vary in size due to the fluctuating shape and size of the public right-of-way Wires Wireless throughout the city, or to underground utilities, or Pole to Pole electric No wires at all, communito other safety and spacing guidelines that are used throughout the City. In some neighborhoods of the wires less than 30’ over- cation wires only, or wires outer boroughs, trees are planted in extended lawn head connecting building to strips instead of in concrete cut-outs. This allows main lines across the for extra rooting volume as well as other site street condition benefits. Definition of Criteria

Tree Bed Width (distance perpendicular to curb):

The following is an overview of how we defined these three major criteria used to classify our biotopes:

< 42” vs. 42” to 54” vs. > 54”

Site Condition A forester judges a site’s degree of drought condition, soil compaction, and soil pollution, then

Drought Condition Caused by sur rounding reflective surfaces, lack of nearby lawns or mature trees, lack of irrigation Soil Compaction caused by tr uck and bus traffic, pedestrian traffic, passengers unloading from vehicles

-This last criterion is an indicator of total soil volume. Because most tree beds are rectangular to accommodate pedestrian flow, tree bed width (distance perpendicular to curb) is the limiting factor for how big a tree trunk can get without causing sidewalk heaving.


Urban (Residential)





Urban Results (Commercial) In total, there are 18 different possible combinations of these three criteria (site condition, High vertical clearance, and tree bed width); thus, these are our 18 different street tree biotopes for New York City. High

Developing Tools

In order to make this system field ready, we needed to develop a master spreadsheet Low Medium High that identified the distinguishable features and tolerances of all the provides a site condition rating. 250+ tree species on our planting list. (You can - A Landscape rating would be representative of a download this spreadsheet here:. Each row quiet street with a lawn strip for tree planting. represents a different tree species and each column represents various categories of a tree’s biological -An Urban (Residential) rating would be qualities (drought tolerance, flood tolerance, shade representative of a moderate-usage urban street tolerance, form, leaf colour, etc). with a sidewalk cut-out for tree planting. Soil Pollution caused by pedestr ian waste, pet waste, vehicular pollution, road salt

-An Urban (Commercial) rating would be representative of a heavy-usage urban street with a sidewalk cut-out for tree planting.

These data were drawn from USDA Fact Sheets and other relevant sources written in an urban forestry context. Each column is filterable, so a forester can find a tree species fitting various specific criteria in (Continued on page 48)

(Continued from page 47)

a matter of seconds. You will notice that our department added some columns customized to our own needs; you may want to tailor this spreadsheet to your own program’s needs. Combining the science-based research collected in this spreadsheet with additional first-hand field knowledge, it was possible to assign these tree species to their most appropriate biotopes (see columns in far right). We used an “x” to signify the first choice, and an “m” for the “maybes,” or secondary choices. The process of choosing which tree species corresponded to each biotope was quite challenging and underwent many revisions. The trees needed to be distributed based on their biological tolerances to match the given site conditions. The lists also had to be generous enough so that foresters had realistic options given nursery availability. Plus, some biotopes are more commonly found in the field than others, so tree species choices had to reflect that distribution. Last, we wanted to assign trees to biotopes where they would be put to best use relative to all their other biotope options (considering factors of tree growth potential, longevity, and site potential).

Biotope 11: Urban-Residential, Wireless, Tree bed 42” – 54”

biotope. Since it is common for surveying to take place months before a forester knows nursery availability, this classification system can come in handy. During the site visit, the forester can assess the three criteria for determining the biotope, make note of that biotope number, and document any additional environmental constraints. Then, species can easily be retrofitted to the site listing at a later date.

Biotope 18: Landscape, Wireless, Tree bed > 54”

Guidelines for Field Use Biotope 3: Urban-Commercial, Wires, Tree Bed > 54”

Application Using this methodology, we are able to approach a planting site and classify it as a certain biotope fairly efficiently. When the forester comes across one of the less-common environmental constraints (e.g., being in a coastal flood zone), the spreadsheet can be filtered by this criterion, which further refines the tree species list for that

Step 1: Approach your potential tree planting site. Step 2: Measure distances from surrounding buildings, trees, and other infrastructure to find the most suitable location for the new tree. Step 3: Assess the site condition by taking a 360 view of the streetscape and how it is used. Step 4: Score the site on drought condition, soil compaction, and soil pollution and determine its

site condition rating as either Urban-Commercial, Urban-Residential, or Landscape. Step 5: Determine whether or not the site has overhead pole-to-pole electric wires. Step 6: Determine and measure the most appropriate tree bed width and length. Step 7: Use information regarding site condition, overhead clearance, and tree bed width to classify the site as a specific biotope (1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;18).

By developing a methodical system based on scientific research, we to hope maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of our street tree planting program, as well as demonstrate accountability and transparency to the public we serve. While many citizens are primarily focused on the aesthetic results of our tree planting operations, we hope this set of documented protocols will portray street trees as growing, living, green infrastructure that provide quantifiable environmental benefits to our city.

Step 8: Make note of any additional environmental factors that could influence tree species selection.

David Moore

Step 9: Using data collected during the field visit, filter the master spreadsheet and match tree species to corresponding biotopes and site conditions.

Matthew Stephens, NYC Parks Department: consultation and editing

Using this process, foresters will be collecting information on the distribution of biotopes across the City. These data can be analysed and used to inform tree procurement decisions for future years. Conclusion


NavÊ Strauss, NYC Parks Department: consultation Leylâ Moore: flow-chart design Peper et al. New York City, New York Municipal Forest Resource Analysis. Centre for Urban Forest Research, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, 2007. 1

News 

MTOA welcomes its new Chair for

Events 

Have you booked for the VetTree

the next two years as Matt Seabrook steps up to replace stalwart Moray Simpson. Read Matt’s piece on page 6 of this magazine for more information.

event yet? Moray Simpson. Long time ATF champion will be presenting a certificated training day at Calke Abbey on the 16th April 2015. There are still a few places left and at only £65 for the day it is extremely good  At the AGM held in the Dudley value (as are all MTOA events). Click Town Hall on the 9th March the board on the above link to email for registration and below are the (brief) of the MTOA also welcomed Andy details of the day. Hurry! Shervill (Derby City Council) to its ranks.

MTOA did not receive any

nominations for the post of ChairElect nor were there any volunteers. We need good officers to ensure the progress and continued good governance of the MTOA—please consider volunteering, it is very rewarding.

9:30 Introduction 10:15 Definition of a veteran tree 11.15 Coffee/tea break. 11.40 Field visit to look at veteran trees 13.00 Lunch. 14.00 Importance of roots 15:10 Management of veteran trees exercise and an introduction to pruning, 16.10 Protection, legislation, questions and summary

MTOA’s summer meeting will be in

June on the 10th and we are meeting at the University of Birmingham. Put this date in your diary now. We will be hearing presentations from BIFoR (see page 32 of this publication for more details) and their ongoing project and from the Trees and Design Action Group Midlands Branch about their midlands based case studies for a new publication, and of course this is an important project to get involved with. Other speakers are yet to confirm, but it is sure to be a sell out given the location, timing and announced speakers. Contact for all the details

Advertising in the Axe, members go free! We publish four issues a year in full colour: Spring 2015

15th February (copy deadline 1st February)

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And finally.


here is no doubt that I am chuffed to bits about including articles from Sharon Hosegood and Hannah Eno, the Axe’s first ever female contributors since I have been editing it.

and to justify this statement consider our workplace demographics with those of the US.

very fact that they have way more women involved who seem to understand the nature of true community interaction so much better than their male counterparts, and moreover manage these programmes so much better.

It is common in the US to come across a female at the top of the management chain in the land I will openly admit that I was based sector and very common to stung by a comment from a meet female Urban Foresters in all From an MTOA perspective this is colleague of mine, Michelle Sutton the major cities I have travelled a very high hurdle indeed to who is the Editor of the SMA’s to. rectify the disparity between the “City Trees” when she pointed out sexes in our industry when you There is an underlying trend here consider the disaster that is our my blatant sexism over the last though. Many of the women in the current education system for land year. sector have come from a based studies. We can’t get The barb bit deep as I have always discipline other than reliably trained tree managers championed equal opportunities Arboriculture, which is the staple coming through to the industry in our industry and the realisation background of the British Tree let alone reliable trained female was that there were a lot of top Officer. tree managers when there are so Arboriculturalists out there that I few attracted to it in the first Whilst this is a generalisation and was not engaging with to place. only based on casual observation contribute to this journal. you can see this reflected in the Does anybody have an answer for Shame on me! trees you see in the streets. The this time bomb? Should we look condition of some of the trees you to the US for the answers and risk There’s always a however, park under you would never see in losing our way altogether? however. If you consider the ratio a British City, our tree care and of male to female authors so far risk management systems are Well perhaps we should first as 10:1 it almost certainly reflects more advanced as is our sense of consider asking those women the ratio across our industry— liability, oddly enough. within our industry, such as NOT! It is probably more like Sharon Hosegood featured in this 100:1 and this just has to be to Yet, when it comes to community edition, on how to go about the dis-benefit of Arboriculture. engagement the USA urban making the UK Urban Forestry forestry programmes are years industry more attractive to them Well I say Arboriculture, but it is ahead of ours. I feel that this may and then actually act on the more likely that Urban Forestry in well be intrinsically linked to the advice! the UK that is being held back,

If you are reading this edition of the Axe on PDF then please ensure you have the view option set for a two page spread, it is designed for on-line viewing so make use of the links embedded. The MTOA is a fully constituted not for profit organisation . The views expressed in the magazine may not reflect the official views of the MTOA and the association accepts no liability for any views or technical advice presented by its contributing authors.

Ian McDermott


Profile for Ian McDermott

The Axe, Spring 2015  

The official quarterly Journal of the Municipal Tree Officers' Association.

The Axe, Spring 2015  

The official quarterly Journal of the Municipal Tree Officers' Association.