Topics

#ARBatwork #PledgeLessPlastic & 1987 storm 2018 3ATC 50th annual AA accreditation advice AFL AGM Agrilus Biguttatus aid air quality Alert Alex Kirkley amenity Amenity Conference Ancient Tree Forum Annual Awards APPGHG apprentice apprenticeship Apprenticeships Approved Contractors ARB ARB Approved Contractor ARB Approved Contractors ARB at work ARB Magazine ARB Show Arboricultural Association Arboriculture arborists Arbsafe ash dieback Assessments atf Australia award Awards Barcham Trees Bartlett Tree Experts bats beetle beyond ism biodiversity biosecurity Branches Brexit bs5837 business Call for papers Canker stain of plane carbon CCS Cellular Confinement Systems CEnv Ceratocystis Ceratocystis platani chainsaw chalara Charles charter Charter for Trees chelsea Chelsea Flower Show Claus Mattheck climate climber climbing Colleges committees competiton conference Confor conifers conservation Consultant consultation Coroner Council Countryside Stewardship cross industry news Cryphonectria parasitica Cumbria DART Date for your diary death defra Design Devon disease document dothistroma EAC East Anglia ecology economy Ecotricity education Electricity England EPF Europe European Arboricultural Council European Wood Pastures exeter Exhibitors Fatality Fera flood flooding Forest Research forestry Forestry Commission forests FSC Fund4Trees funding fundraiser gardening GDPR Geocells Gov.uk government Green Brexit guidance guides Health Helliwell Help Henry Kuppen Horse Chestnut horticulture HRH HRH Prince Charles HS2 HSE ICF InfraGreen International Urban Forestry Congress Investigating Tree Archaeology Conference Irma ISA iso i-Tree IUFC Kew land-based Landscape Institute Landscape Show landscaping Lantra law Leaf Minor Lectures London LTOA Melbourne Member Benefit mentor Midlands NASA National Geographic National Tree Week News nominations Northern notification NTIS NTOA NTOC oak Oak Processionary Moth Oak-boring Beetle obituary Observatree opm Padua parks parliament Perennial Pests and Diseases petition Phytophthora planning Planning Law planting Plumpton College policy poll Power Prince Charles Prince of Wales Protect and Survive protection Quotatis ramorum Registered Registered Consultant Registered Consultants Report Rescue research Resilience response review RFS rhs Rodney Helliwell rogue tree surgeons RSFS Safety Safety Bulletin Saftey Scotland Scottish Branch SDG Accord security seminars Share Sheffield Show Site Guidance skills SocEnv soils South East staff statement statutory STIHL strategy student Student Conference survey Sustainable Soils Alliance Sweet Chestnut sweet chestnut blight TDAG Technical Officers tender Thames & Chiltern The Arboricultural Association The Woodland Trust Thinking Arbs Day Tools TPO Trading Standards trailblazer training transport Tree Tree Champion Tree Council Tree Health Tree Inspection tree loss tree management Tree of the year Tree Officer tree species Tree Surgeons Tree Week tree-felling TreeRadar trees Trees, People and the Built Environment trust' trustee TrustMark UAG Uitlity UK favourite ukas UKWAS urban forest Urban Tree Cover urban trees VETcert veteran trees video Videos volunteer VTA Wales website Western Westonbirt women in arboriculture woodland woodland trust woods World Environment Day young arborists

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

Share this story

Northern Branch Spring Seminar

  19/06/2018
Last Updated:  19/06/2018

Managing trees in the urban environment

The Northern Branch was delighted to host its spring seminar – ‘Managing trees in the urban environment’ – in the spectacular surroundings of Croxteth Country Park, Liverpool.

I introduced the seminar with a presentation emphasising the benefits that urban trees provide, to set the scene for the day.

First up was Howard Gray of GreenBlue Urban (GBU) who delivered an excellent presentation entitled ‘Unlocking the Green Potential of Trees in Urban Space’. He went through the GBU processes of tree planting and successful tree establishment in urban areas. He demonstrated how proper tree pit design could contribute enormously to sustainable urban drainage (SUDS) using case examples. Howard described some really interesting case histories from Blackheath in Greenwich to St Peter’s Square in Manchester, amongst many others, and described in detail a scheme at Leyland Street in Prescot, which is only a few miles from Croxteth Hall.

Howard’s passion and enthusiasm for his work and for trees are boundless and infectious.

Howard was followed by Keith Sacre of Barcham Trees and the Association’s current Chair. Keith started with biosecurity and used the London i-Tree Eco study to demonstrate the cost to London if plane wilt disease, Asian longhorn beetle and emerald ash borer were to be introduced. Keith spelled out in detail the implications for all our plants, not just trees, if Xylella fastidiosa were to arrive in Britain. He emphasised the need for us all to be on guard and alert to the threats, and he praised the Association for taking the industry lead on biosecurity. He had special praise for Defra and in particular Professor Nicola Spence and her team for what they have achieved.

Keith described how a section on biosecurity in the draft of BS8545 would have required that all imported trees would have to be kept on the nursery for a full 12 months’ quarantine, before they could be released into the landscape and certified as pest and disease free. However, this had to be omitted because of an objection from Europe that considered it to be a barrier to free trade. Happily, Barcham Trees has adopted it as it’s Biosecurity Policy.

After a splendid lunch, we were treated to an excellent presentation on ‘Tree Planting and Soil Amendments’ from Dr Glynn Percival of the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory at Reading University.

Glynn went through the problems of pot-bound rooting systems and how to deal with them in order to obtain successful establishment, using results of research undertaken at the Bartlett Lab. He described the benefits of soil decompaction using compressed air to enhance vitality. Glynn described the results of research on the use of ‘pure’ mulch, i.e. woodchip mulch from a single species of tree.

It seems as if pure mulch of wild cherry (Prunus avium) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) produced the best results. The mechanism is not fully understood but mulching does result in significant increases in fine root production. It is possible that some of the chemical compounds these mulches release into the root zones act as systemic inducers of resistance (SIRs) which can enhance a tree’s natural resistance to pests and diseases.

Glynn then turned his attention to the use of biochar as a soil amendment. Finally, Glynn described how Bartlett brought a signature tree in Texas, the ‘Lone Star Pecan’, back from the brink of death. The techniques were simple and were those he described during his presentation, i.e. soil decompaction, mulching and soil amendments, none of which are expensive.

As Chair for the day and on behalf of the Northern Branch, I thank all three speakers for giving us an excellent day’s CPD. The programme was excellent and attracted delegates from as far north as Glasgow and Newcastle upon Tyne. In my opinion, the venue was second to none, but I would say that, wouldn’t I?