Tree Care Forum

Tree Care Forum

Forestry England Pests & Diseases

On Friday 20 and Saturday 21 May 2022 the Arboricultural Association and Forestry England, at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, presented a special event aimed at showcasing the importance of arboriculture and the tree care community to the public.

The event featured speakers will talk about pests and diseases, climate change, health and wellbeing and ancient trees. Interactive outdoor activities included guided walks, masterclasses, climbing demonstrations and more.

Amenity trees have been high on the political and public agenda in recent years, partly because of the key role they will play in mitigating the effects of climate change. Unfortunately, the emphasis of this discourse is often on tree planting, with ever-escalating planting targets now commonplace. The importance of tree establishment and tree care is not fully understood, and many people will be unaware of the existence of the tree care profession – arboriculture.

Showcasing Arboriculture

Visitors heard from a range of professionals about the critical role that arboriculture plays in protecting and caring for those trees we have now and ensuring that the trees we plant today will establish and thrive in the decades and centuries to come.

Tree Climbing
Talks in the Great Oak Hall Bluebells in Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

Andrew Smith, Arboretum Director says:

“We are excited to work with the Arboricultural Association again on this new event and are glad to be part of raising awareness of arboriculture as a rewarding profession and important industry. The workshops will shed light on the great work we do here at Westonbirt and the importance of arboriculture in protecting and caring for our trees around the world.”

Tree care talks and activities for all ages

The interactive afternoon sessions featured a range of activities for delegates to choose between. The array of options ranged from tree walks, coppice workshops, a tree planting and young tree maintenance masterclass to climbing demonstrations, workshop sessions exploring specific tree care issues in more detail, expert panel discussion sessions and many more. An important aspect of the outdoor events will be to ensure that there are activities aimed at all ages, particularly children.

Arboricultural Association CEO John Parker explained the thinking behind the new event:

“We’ve had a great relationship with Westonbirt over several years and the public appreciation of trees and their benefits is greater than ever, so this is the perfect opportunity to work together to put the industry that cares for those trees in the spotlight. Tree planting targets have been a hot topic in recent years, but arboriculture and the expertise needed to deliver ambitious targets is an afterthought. Through interactive sessions, Tree Care Forum visitors will see the bigger picture, from nursery production, policymaking and the many roles of arboricultural professionals, to issues like tree health, health and wellbeing and species selection.”

Speakers

Dan Crowley

Dan Crowley

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI)

Arboreta and Tree Conservation

Tree collections have long played an important role in science and research, and in the midst of the current plant extinction crisis, they have a vital role to play in species conservation. One in three tree species are threatened with extinction in the wild, so ensuring that they are conserved in ex situ living collections is critical to avoid species extinctions. While some tree species can be conserved in seedbanks, some of our most iconic groups, including oaks, maples and magnolias, cannot be stored as seed and thus can only be conserved as living plants. Several threatened species are currently represented by only few individuals in collections and creating resilient, genetically comprehensive collections is a crucial part of integrated species conservation programmes.

Biography

Dan Crowley is a dendrologist and plant conservationist. He works for Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), managing their Global Conservation Consortia initiative, which addresses the conservation needs of highly threatened plant groups. He is a member of the IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group and was a lead author on the Red List of Acer: revised and extended, published in 2020. Prior to working for BGCI Dan worked as Dendrologist at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, where he verified the identity of representatives of selected genera in the collection and led international wild seed collecting expeditions. A maple specialist, he writes for a range of audiences on all things trees and co-authored The Lives of Leaves, published by Two Roads in 2021. Dan holds a Master’s degree in Plant Diversity from the University of Reading.

Catherine Nuttgens

Catherine Nuttgens

Sheffield City Council

Presentation: Love your trees!

How to successfully grow trees in schools and other shared green spaces.

The talk will cover:

  • Benefits of trees in school
  • How to plan and deliver a tree project
  • Common problems and how to avoid them
  • Love your trees - Looking after trees once planted
  • Looking after the trees you already have.

Biography

Catherine Nuttgens is the Community Forestry Manager for Sheffield City Council. She has a project management background connecting people to nature and landscape; as well as working in arboriculture in the urban environment. Her projects have included themes such as landscape heritage, ancient woodland, art and crafts, outdoor play and forest schools. She also has worked as a tree officer for Sheffield City Council for a number of years which covered all aspects of tree risk management and trees in relation to planning.

Through her work in Community Forestry, she is interested in exploring mutually beneficial ways in which urban communities can work with nature. By encouraging people to have positive experiences such as planting and caring for trees and woodland in their community, she hopes that this will increase community wellbeing, whilst trees and woodland will be held in high value and are sustained and protected by people in the future.

Becki Gawthorpe

Becki Gawthorpe

Forestry Commission

Presentation: What’s hitchhiking on you?

Who doesn’t love trees, and spending time outdoors, visiting woods and forests? Unfortunately, that can also include some unwelcome visitors. Non-native tree pests and diseases can have a significant impact on our landscape and the places we like to visit. However, there are a few simple steps that we can take to help limit their spread and the damage they can cause. Please join me to find out how these unwelcome visitors arrive here in the United Kingdom, what to look out for, and most importantly, what you can do to help.

Biography

After obtaining my BSc in Arboriculture in 2010, I spent seven years working as a tree consultant in the southeast before joining the Forestry Commission in 2017 as one of their Biosecurity Officers. I’m part of the Plant Health Forestry Team and have a national role tasked with developing and updating tree health and biosecurity related policy and guidance. I assist with the development of communication materials and help raise awareness of tree health through many different outreach activities. I work closely with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, ensuring advice and guidance is audience-led and practical, and reflects current scientific understanding. I am also on standby to assist with outbreak situations when they occur. I love my role as it involves meeting new people and spreading the word about how we can protect our trees, woods and forests. I am a long-standing member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

Andy Tipping

Andy Tipping

London Tree Officers Association

Presentation: Local Authority Tree Officer roles

Biography

Trees & Woodlands Manager at London Borough of Barnet. Began working with trees in early 1987, six months before the great storm and following a short arborist career, has been working in Local government since 1995. He is a Chartered Arboriculturist with ICF and qualifications include Professional Diploma in Arboriculture (Level 6).

Has contributed to LTOA publications including Risk Limitation Strategy and CAVAT. Has worked on BS 8545, Joint Mitigation Protocol and was one of the principal authors of National Tree Safety Group: Common Sense Risk Management of Trees.

Executive member of LTOA and past chairman, his main interests are regarding urban trees especially with regard to defending unjustified removal demands in subsidence cases.

David Johnson

David Johnson

Barcham Trees

Presentation: Tree Growing & nursery production methods

Will be explaining the different tree growing methods tree nurseries use , from Bare root to container trees and the various advantages and disadvantages they offer.

Biography

Joined Notcutts Nurseries in 1978 as a nursery apprentice, studying at Hadlow College went on to Qualify as a nursery craftsman .Worked in many departments at Notcutts including 16 years as Despatch & Transport manager and in my final few years moved into the main sales office as Sales executive to the Trade and local Authority.

Joined Barham Trees in 2004 as a member of the sales team, now advises on species selection and best planting practice for commercial and private planting schemes.

Kieron Doick

Kieron Doick

Forest Research

Presentation: Tree Cover where you live, and why care

Do you know how many trees there are where you live? Do you know why it’s interesting, even important, to know? Did you know that you can assess tree cover yourself and that it’s free and easy to do so? In a recent study by Forest Research we learnt that a third of people would like more trees where they live and that they also felt that tree cover was unfairly shared across communities. This despite few actually knowing what their tree cover is. In this talk we’ll visit the benefits of trees in towns and cities, learn how to measure it and track change, and introduce you to the results of a long-running citizen science project that has sought to measure tree canopy cover for all the electoral wards of the UK.

Biography

Kieron Doick is Head of the Urban Forest Research Group (UFoRG) at Forest Research. UFoRG delivers scientific knowledge on the UK’s urban forests, defined as ‘all the trees in and around the urban realm’. Kieron gained his PhD at Lancaster University studying the fate of organic contaminants in soil, before joining the Group in 2005. Kieron’s research interests include the quantification and assessment of urban forests across the UK, quantifying the role of urban forests in delivering ecosystem service benefits to society, and the socio-ecological and urban resilience of urban forests to climate change. He has a particular interest in the climate mitigation (cooling) role of urban greenspaces and methods to value ecosystem services provided by urban trees. @KieronDoickFR

Emma Gilmartin

Emma Gilmartin

Woodland Trust

Presentation: Living Legends

Some trees are unmistakeable giants, some may be as old as Stonehenge, while others are home to rare and mysterious creatures. These are more than just trees, these are living legends.

Trees have a talent for extreme longevity; our ancient trees have seen huge landscape change and major historical events. However, they’ve also been part of the everyday lives of generations of local people. This means that ancient trees are not only precious natural monuments, but cultural ones too.

In this talk we’ll discuss the value of ancient trees for people and nature. Please join me to find out why they’re tough yet also vulnerable, and how you can help to map, champion, and protect them.

Biography

Emma Gilmartin is a Conservation Adviser at the Woodland Trust. She specialises in the ecology and wildlife value of trees. Before joining the Woodland Trust in 2019, Emma gained her PhD at Cardiff University, researching wood decaying fungi in living beech trees with Professor Lynne Boddy. She has a background in recording fungi and plants across the UK, and loves to help others to identify and appreciate them. Emma helped to take ‘Unsung Heroes of the Planet’—the world’s first fungal opera—to the Green Man Festival in 2017, and she supports the Ancient Tree Forum and the British Mycological Society.

Lynne Boddy

Lynne Boddy

Cardiff University

Presentation: Trees and their fungus partners

Trees use energy from sunlight to make carbohydrates during photosynthesis. This fuels not only their growth but ultimately the whole of the ecosystems that they dominate. Trees provide huge benefits to humans and the natural environment, such as providing habitat for many organisms, removing atmospheric pollutants, preventing soil erosion, cooling streets and cities, and having hugely advantageous psychological effects. However, they do not, indeed cannot, do this alone. Every tree on the planet is partnered by fungi, most obviously as mutualistic associations with their roots (called mycorrhizas), but also cryptically with endophytic (literally meaning within a plant) fungi in their leaves, stems, roots – in fact probably all tissues. They are also indirectly dependent on fungi, since fungi are the major rotters of dead plant tissues – especially when they contain lignin, and hence they are the major recyclers of nutrients, ultimately making nutrients available again for continued plant growth. This talk will explore these partnerships between fungi and trees.

Biography

Lynne Boddy is Professor of Fungal Ecology at Cardiff University UK. She has taught and researched into the ecology of fungi associated with trees and wood decomposition for 40 years. She is currently studying the fascinating communities of fungi and other organisms that rot the centres of old trees, the ash dieback fungus that is rampaging across the UK from Europe, the ways in which fungi fight each other and form communities, how they search the forest floor for food resources and respond to their finds, and how climate change is affecting fungi. She is a prolific author having co-authored “Fungal Decomposition of Wood” and “The Fungi”, her most recent (early 2021) being “Fungi and Trees: their Complex Relationships”, and the children’s book “Humongous Fungus”. She has edited six books, published over 300 scientific papers, and is chief editor of the journal Fungal Ecology. She was (2009–2010) president of the British Mycological Society. Lynne is an ardent communicator of the mysteries and importance of the amazing hidden Kingdom of Fungi to the general public including TV, radio, popular talks, videos, articles and exhibitions. She was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2019 for Services to Mycology and Science Outreach.

Tony Kirkham

Tony Kirkham

Presentation: Trees for the Future

With the ever-increasing threats to our trees in the landscape from pests and diseases and climate change, we need to be more adventurous with our tree selection for future plantings if we are to have a treescape for the future. We need more diversity in our plantings and must avoid a monoculture planting. This will mean that we must integrate exotics with native species, and we must be planting nursery stock that will make shade trees when mature and not stick to planning pioneer species because they are easy to establish, albeit for a short time. The talk will explore potential species that we can plant in new planting schemes in the future.

Biography

In July 2020 he retired as the Head of the Arboretum, and Horticultural Services, where he was responsible for the management and curation of over 14,000 trees in the collections.

He has led several plant collecting expeditions to Chile and the Far East of Asia, including China, Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea, and Russia and has co-authored books on his travels.

In 2004 he completed the revision of the “Pruning of Trees Shrubs and Conifers” with Timber Press and more recently written “Essential Pruning Techniques” and in 2019 the “Haynes Workshop manual of Trees”, and “Remarkable Trees” for Thames Hudson. His latest book is called “Growing Trees” and is a general guide to growing trees in the garden.

He has featured on several tree related TV programmes and lectures internationally and regularly writes many articles and papers.

He chairs the RHS woody plant committee and the IDS Trees & Shrubs Online, and is a member of Action Oak, the Queen’s Green Canopy committees and is a trustee and chairman of the advisory board at the Chelsea Physic Garden and TROBI, (Tree Register of the British Isles).

In 2009 he was awarded the Associate of Honour by the RHS for distinguished service to horticulture, the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour and an MBE in 2019 for services to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Arboriculture and made an Honorary Lifetime fellow of the Arboricultural Association in 2015. He was made the Vice President of the Arboricultural Society and awarded the AA Lifetime achievement award in 2019.

Jeremy Barrell

Jeremy Barrell

Barrell Tree Consultancy

Presentation: Getting to the top of the tree; a tree consultant’s tale

If you have a passion for nature and the outdoors, and like getting your hands dirty, then working with trees can be a great career choice for a healthy and happy future when you are young and full of energy. It is satisfying work to grow new trees from seed in the nursery, plant them in the landscape, prune them as they mature, and finally fell them ready for the next generation to be planted. But what happens as you get older, and the work gets harder, and you can’t quite do as much as you could when you were younger?

One option is to use all that practical experience gained from those years of work to your advantage, and move on to advising others on how to manage their trees from a position of knowledge. Indeed, many of the UK’s top consultants started on the tools, and it is that experience that provides the tree-care insights needed to make well-informed management decisions.

In this short presentation, Jeremy will chart his career progress from a ground worker with a tree surgery company to become a highly accomplished consultant acting as an expert witness and speaking all over the world on the cutting-edge tree management developed in the UK.

If you are interested in a career in arboriculture, no matter what your background, this talk will provide insights into what it takes to get to the top and how important practical experience is as a building block towards becoming a successful tree consultant.

Biography

Jeremy Barrell is the Managing Director of Barrell Tree Consultancy www.barrelltreecare.co.uk, one of Britain’s leading planning and legal tree management practices. He is an author and accomplished expert witness, with a practical background focusing on delivering realistic solutions rather than academic nonsense.

Jim Mullholland

Jim Mullholland

BATS Research and Training Services

Presentation: Bats and trees

The UK is home to 17 species of bats, all of which are reliant on trees to varying degrees: Trees provide a source of food for bats, by supporting a vast array of insects and other small invertebrates; trees create linear features that allow bats to disperse through the landscape without predation; and trees offer homes for bats inside cavities, behind lifted bark or inside splits.

Bats are one group of animals that take advantage of the growth, damage and decay of trees. These processes provide abundant food and shelter for our bat species. Indeed, many of our rarest bat species prefer to live in trees over buildings, caves, etc.

But what type of trees do bats use and what can we do to protect their homes to ensure their survival? Come along and find out more about the relationships between bats and trees.

Biography

Jim is Director of BATS Research and Training Services, an organisation which strives for a world where bats are better understood, and their wild habitats cared for.

Jim is an ecologist and arboriculturist with dual specialisms of bats and veteran trees. He has been researching bats since 2005. He is an accomplished public speaker and training provider.

John Parker

John Parker

Arboricultural Association

Presentation: An introduction to arboriculture

Biography

John spent ten years as the Senior Arboriculture & Landscape Specialist at Transport for London (TFL). He was Chair of the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) from 2016-2018. John holds a BSc in Arboriculture & Urban Forestry from Myerscough, is a Professional member of the AA (MArborA), Chartered Arboriculturist (MICFor) and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv).

John has been incredibly active in the european arboricultural community in recent years having worked on projects in conjunction with the European Arboricultural Council in the Baltic states. In 2017, John’s hard work for the LTOA and his efforts to bring together arboriculture and urban forestry across Europe, were recognised at the European Forum on Urban Forestry, where he received the prestigious ‘European Young Urban Forester of the Year’ award. John joined the Arboricultural Association in 2019 as Senior Technical Officer and became its Chief Executive Officer in 2021.

Timetable

Starting from 2pm each day. Visit event and see sign up boards for more details.

Friday 20 May timetable

Time

Presentation

Speaker

10am - 10.10am Introduction and welcome John Parker
10.10am - 10.30am What is a tree surgeon? Navin Sehmi
10.30am - 10.50am Arboreta and Tree Conservation Dan Crowley
10.50am - 11.10am Tree Cover - where you live and why care Kieron Doick
11.10am - 11.30am Questions John Parker
11.30am - 12.00pm Break  
12.00pm - 12.20pm Love your Trees! Catherine Nuttgens
12.20pm - 12.40pm Trees for the Future Tony Kirkham
12.40pm - 1.00pm What is a tree consultant? Jeremy Barrell
1.00pm - 1.20pm What’s hitchhiking on you? Becki Gawthorpe
1.20pm - 1.30pm Questions John Parker
1.30pm - 2.30pm Lunch  
2pm - 5pm Workshops and activities Various

Forestry England Learning Activities

  • Meet the machines (next to main marquee)
  • Dendrologist/tree science activity (next to main marquee)
  • Curator activity (Savill Glade behind learning centre)
  • Meet the propagator

Well-being activity

Next to main marquee

2:30pm Led by Karen Price

Starting with a short grounding exercise, followed by a short mindful photography taster activity then a tree / wood based craft activity.

Guided Walks

Departing adjacent main marquee

11:30am Forestry England: Behind the Scenes

2:30pm Dan Crowley: Disappearing trees

3:30pm Forestry England: Behind the Scenes

Extra times depending on demand

Saturday 21 May timetable

Time

Presentation

Speaker

10am - 10.10am Introduction and welcome John Parker
10.10am - 10.30am Bats and trees Jim Mullholland
10.30am - 10.50am Living Legends Emma Gilmartin
10.50am - 11.10am Local Authority Tree Officer roles Andy Tipping
11.10am - 11.30am Questions John Parker
11.30am - 12pm Break  
12pm - 12.20pm Tree growing and nursery production methods David Johnson
12.20pm - 12.40pm Trees and their fungus partners Lynne Boddy
12.40pm - 1pm The Plant Healthy Certification Scheme Dougal Driver
1pm - 1.20pm To be confirmed -
1.20pm - 1.30pm Questions John Parker
1.30pm - 2.30pm Lunch  
2pm - 5pm Workshops and activities Various

Forestry England Learning Activities

  • Meet the machines (next to main marquee)
  • Dendrologist/tree science activity (next to main marquee)

Guided Walks

Departing adjacent main marquee

11:30am Forestry England: Behind the Scenes

2:30pm General tree walk (guide tbc)

3:30pm Forestry England: Behind the Scenes

Extra times depending on demand

Download Afternoon Activities

As shown above there were a range of activities from guided tree walks, wellbeing workshops, ’Ask the tree experts‘, Forestry England learning team, meet the machines and Children's activities

** Please note speakers and timings are subject to change without notice **

Download the Timetable