Sir Harry Studholme is the Chairman of the Forestry Commission since January 2013, having been appointed a Commissioner in 2007. He has owned and managed forests in Devon for over 25 years. Working with the Arboricultural Association he brought together the group, which became the National Tree Safety Group, which he chaired from 2008 to 2013. He also chaired and hosted the first South West Woodland Show in 1995.
He was Deputy Chairman of the Independent Panel on Forestry, which reported on the future of English forestry in July 2012.
His current roles include chairing the Phaunos Timber Fund, a quoted investment trust owning in the main Southern Hemisphere eucalyptus and pine forests. He has a long interest in tree health and its impact on urban forests and arboriculture.
Sir Harry was Chairman of the South West Regional Development Agency from 2009 to 2012. He is an Engineering graduate of Cambridge University, a Chartered Accountant (FCA), a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) and accredited Commercial Mediator (CEDAR).
As Head of the Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services, at The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, he is responsible for the management and curation of over 14,000 trees. He has led several plant collecting expeditions to Chile and the Far East. In 2004 he completed the revision of the “Pruning of Trees Shrubs and Conifers” and in 2017 published “Essential Pruning Techniques” with Timber Press. He presented the “Trees that made Britain” for BBC2. He represents Kew on the RHS woody plant committee, the International Dendrology Society, and is a trustee of the Yorkshire Arboretum and TROBI In 2009 he was awarded the Associate of Honour by the RHS for distinguished service to horticulture and in 2015 the Arboricultural Association’s award of Honorary lifetime Fellowship for his commitment and dedication to the advancement of Arboriculture.
Professor Michael Raupp of the University of Maryland is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. Mike has some 250 publications and more than 1100 presentations on the ecology and management of insects and mites. He is has appeared on all major television and radio networks in the US and been featured on The Science Channel, PBS, and National Geographic. His “Managing Insect and Mite Pests of Woody Landscape Plants” published by Tree Care Industry is an authoritative guide for arborists and his “26 Things that Bug Me” published by ISA introduces youngsters to the wonders of insects.
The United Kingdom and nations around the globe are threatened by new invaders owing to forces of global change including international trade, climate change, and urbanization. We will explore ecological and sociological factors that compromise the sustainability of urban forests in light of these global changes. The focus will be on life history attributes of pests that make them good invaders and also on features of the invaded range that enable new species to arrive and become established. The well –known data base on forest insect pests provides historical information to understand which taxa of insects are most likely to threaten new areas. A shifting pattern of invaders over the past century will be reviewed. A curious case for insects as agents of bioterrorism will be presented using the history of insect pests on eucalyptus in California. Case studies of invasions in the United States by emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, and brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, will reveal factors underlying their success establishing in new realms. In the case of emerald ash borer we will see how street tree design following the catastrophe of Dutch elm disease predisposed American cities to multibillion dollar loses. The importance of biotic resistance in thwarting invasions will be discussed from perspectives of both host plants and natural enemies. From the perspective of employing host plant resistance as a management tactic, the important role of evolutionary mismatches between pests and their hosts will be examined for both specialists like emerald ash borer and generalists like brown marmorated stink bug. In the case of the brown marmorated stink bug common landscape plants favored and disfavored will be reviewed and mechanisms underlying patterns of host will be explained. Approaches to mitigating effects of these global change forces will be discussed.
Dr David Lonsdale is a consultant, author and educator, specialising in the biology, pathology and mechanical integrity of trees. After obtaining degrees at the universities of Southampton (1971) and Manchester University (1975), he led a wide range of research projects on tree diseases and decay for Forest Research until 2002. He also served on the Council of the British Mycological Society, of which he was Vice-president in 2000. Books written or edited by David include Habitat Conservation for Insects (1991), Principles of Tree Hazard Assessment and Management (1999) and Ancient and other Veteran Trees: further Guidance on Management (2013). He is a recipient of the Marsh Award for Insect Conservation from the Royal Entomological Society (2009) and the R.W. Harris Citation from the International Society of Arboriculture (2016).
Non-native tree pests and pathogens have caused major environmental, aesthetic and economic problems worldwide, as in the examples of Dutch elm disease, Sweet chestnut blight, Gypsy moth and Emerald ash borer. Organisms that cause little or no harm to trees in their native geographical ranges can devastate tree species elsewhere. Lessons can be learned by understanding the co-evolutionary, environmental or ecological reasons why such problems occur. Before the ash dieback fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus was recorded in the UK, there was a failure to realise that it was not the same as our native, harmless H. albidus. Ash dieback has, however, prompted useful initiatives such as the Plant Risk Register, which helps to identify high-risk organisms that may warrant special measures, as allowed under current regulations. Citizen science schemes like Observatree can aid the detection of newly occurring diseases or pests. Meanwhile ‘Sentinel Tree’ plantings in exporting countries can help to identify potentially harmful species that might not yet be ‘on the Radar’. Knowledge about high-risk species is especially useful where technology has been developed for the detection of particular pests or pathogens during port inspections. The value of species-based information is, however, limited unless regulations can be targeted towards high-risk pathways of introduction. But even if alien pests and pathogens gain entry, quarantine might enable their containment. One company in the UK, Barcham Trees, operates a one-year holding scheme when growing-on imported trees at its nursery. On the basis that self-sufficiency in nursery stock would enable the UK to go further towards the mitigation of risk, we consider whether this is a practicable prospect. Also, we consider the resources and the regulatory environment that the nursery industry would need in order to work towards self-sufficiency.
Matt Elliot manages tree health at the Woodland Trust. He is a former Forest Pathologist at Forest Research with a PhD in Phytophthora epidemiology from the University of St Andrews. He has been at the Trust since 2016.
There has been a dramatic increase in pest and disease introductions into the UK in the last 15 years which is putting many of our native tree species under pressure like never before. Large elm trees are a thing of the past in our countryside due to Dutch elm disease and ash may well go the same way once the true impact of ash dieback is realised. Oak is under stress from acute oak decline, oak processionary moth and oak mildew whilst also being subjected to climate change and other landscape pressures. Iconic juniper populations are under threat from Phytophthora austrocedri and alder is also dying due to Phytophthora alni.
It has become increasingly clear that one of the best ways of reducing the incidence of new pests and diseases is to reduce the industry’s reliance on imports. When Chalara ash dieback was discovered in 2012, the Woodland Trust reacted by transforming its procurement processes and moved away from spot-buying to contract growing of all its tree stock, thereby securing the chain of custody from seed collection right through to eventual planting. Initially using the 3 contract nurseries to develop the operating mechanism it illustrated that such biosecurity measures could be deployed for other nurseries to use in distinguishing their stock as highly biosecure and in generating interest from the forest sector when procuring trees. UK Sourced and Grown is not only the parameter for core contracts with the Trust but also a stand-alone assurance scheme involving a number of measures to increase biosecurity and minimise tree imports.
Lee Dudley oversees operational tree procurement for the Woodland Trust and has led on a biosecurity initiative known as UK Source and Grown. He has worked for the Woodland Trust since 2010 and before that worked in Serbia and Eastern Europe for IUCN. Lee has worked throughout his career on woodland creation initiatives from rural green sites through to brownfield sites in highly deprived communities. On behalf of the Woodland Trust Lee leads on the Carbon Code programme.
Dr Neil Strong studied forestry and ecology as an undergraduate (Edinburgh) and a post-graduate (Portsmouth). He provides Network Rail expertise and support on aspects of the lineside asset including the management of vegetation and the impact on biodiversity; he has developed company standards on vegetation and fencing. His current focus is the sustainable management of the lineside necessary to improve the safety and biodiversity of the rail network. This management has to balance legal, environmental and social obligations whilst also recognising the impact it can have on the 7 million railway neighbours – all whilst trains pass at up to 200kph.
This presentation will outline a number of situations where Network Rail has assisted, amongst others, APHA and FC in gaining access to the operational railway and managing species of concern to reduce the risk of translocation or plant or public health issues. With an infrastructure that covers the length and breadth of Great Britain, a workforce of over 35,000 personnel and a similar number of contracting staff it is essential that Network Rail works closely with the Government experts to reduce the risk of pests and diseases moving around Britain. The spread of Oxford ragwort by railway during the 19th Century is well documented and work by Network Rail in collaboration with the FC and APHA on Asian longhorn beetle, chestnut blight, Phytophthora and oak processionary moth has not just been carried out due to the serving of Plant Health Orders. Case Studies will demonstrate the difficulties that can be experienced assessing the vegetation on the rail infrastructure for the presence of new pests and diseases, the management of suspected cases and how restrictions imposed can have knock on implications for vegetation management… and the reasons for that management in the first place.
Simon Toomer has worked as a forester, land management advisor and arboriculturalist in private, local authority and charity sectors. In his current role with the National Trust, he is a national consultant for all areas of plant conservation including plant health.
The National Trust’s experience of finding a balance between the practical, economic and visitor needs of properties while managing the risks from plant diseases and pests. The Trust has developed a Plant Health Standard and is in the process of implementing this across garden and parkland properties. The standard is now a standard conservation measure and is included as an important component of KPIs. The presentation will include details of the standard as well as challenges in its implementation.
Ian Shears is the Manager Urban Sustainability at the City of Melbourne. In this role, Ian leads work which combines the urban landscapes climate adaptation program with Council’s sustainability strategies and programs. He has specialized in green infrastructure management for over 20 years.
Dr Glynn Percival manages Bartlett’s Tree Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Reading UK. He is a professional member of the International Society of Arboriculture and Arboricultural Association. Glynn has presented papers on his work at the International Society of Arboriculture, Arboricultural Association annual conferences and the International Society for Horticultural Science, 1st International Symposium on Urban Tree Health. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers, magazine articles and book chapters. He was co-editor of the proceedings of the Trees, People and Built Environment conference, published by the Forestry Commission. Glynn has served on the editorial board for Arboriculture and Urban Forestry and Urban Forestry and Urban Greening and is an honorary lecturer at Reading University and visiting lecturer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
During their life cycle, urban trees are susceptible to attacks by many pathogenic fungi and bacteria that, if uncontrolled, can result in high mortality rates. Control of these diseases is primarily through the use of synthetic agrochemicals. Increased tolerance to commercially available agrochemicals, failure of many chemicals to adequately control diseases once a tree is infected and increased legislative restrictions regarding the use and application of agrochemicals means new techniques of disease control are now of fundamental and economic importance. It is widely known that trees can defend themselves against pathogen infection through a wide variety of mechanisms that can be either local, constitutive or inducible. Developments in plant protection technology have led to the formulation of several soil amendments that have been shown to induce or “switch on” a plant's own defence mechanisms. These include chitin, phosphites, biochar (a form of activated charcoal) and pure mulches i.e. a mulch made from a single tree species such as willow or eucalyptus. Preliminary studies have found a single soil application of these amendments provides long lasting, broad spectrum control of several fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens. Importantly these amendments act by organic means so are not subject to government legislative restrictions that relate to synthetic agrochemicals. This talk will discuss the efficacy of a range of soil amendments singly and in combination on controlling two worldwide economically important tree diseases i) apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) a foliar biotrophic pathogens and ii) Armillaria (a root invasive pathogen) as well as implications for management of current pest and disease threats to UK amenity trees (Sudden Oak Death, Acute Oak Decline, Massaria).