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Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers

 14/02/2019    Last Modified: 14/02/2019

Author: Tree and Design Action Group

How can we improve species selection so that we can provide our towns and cities with diverse and resilient palette of trees that are capable of thriving in challenging urban environments? This guide offers for the first time in the UK a comprehensive, research-based decision-making tool on selecting appropriate species for a range of contrasting planting scenarios. A free copy of the guide and its companion database can be downloaded below.

As well as providing advice on the general approach to species selection, Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers includes information for over 280 species on their use-potential, size and crown characteristics, natural habitat, environmental tolerance, ornamental qualities, potential issues to be aware of, and notable varieties. The overall aim of this guide it to provide, clear, robust information to specifiers to enable appropriate species selection and aid the diversification of the urban forest.


Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers is written for anyone with an interest in specifying trees for green infrastructure. This is likely to include: arboriculturists; architects; civil and structural engineers; designers; landscape architects; landscape contractors; non-pro t organisations; planners and tree officers.

How this guide was developed

Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers was written by Andrew D. Hirons, Senior Lecturer at University Centre Myerscough and Henrik Sjöman, Senior Researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Scientific Curator at Gothenburg Botanical Garden. It is the major outcome of a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Green Infrastructure Innovation Project (NE/N017773/1) entitled Tree Selection for Green Infrastructure. This project provided the opportunity to evaluate the current approach to tree species selection within the British Isles, conduct some original research on a sub-set of species and produce this guidance. In addition to the NERC sponsored research, data derived from studies funded by the Hyland R. Johns Research Grant (TREE Fund), Fund4Trees and The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) as well as a wide range of published literature has also been used to underpin the recommendations.


For a presentation of the research underpinning its content, watch the presentations below:

(Recorded in London on March 2018 – Download the event programme)

The Arboricultural Association is one of the core corporate funders of the Trees and Design Action Group, supporting specific projects including guidance documents, the online case study library, CPD seminars and workshop attendance.

Find out more

trees, TDAG, Tree Specifiers, Tree Planting, Tree Species Selection, Urban