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Exeter tree experts share knowledge with UK councils

Skills and knowledge from experts based at Exeter Science Park have supported councils across the UK to grow and nurture trees as part of meeting their environmental targets.

Councils and other organisations across the country have pledged to plant thousands of trees, but research has revealed that as many as 70% of the trees planted will go on to die and need to be replaced within a decade.

The tree establishment and care workshop was organised by Exeter Science Park-based Treeconomics, a UK-based consultancy which works internationally with community groups, research organisations, public bodies, municipalities and private business to complete projects which highlight the value of trees. It was attended by local authorities and non government organisations.

Nadine Moreby, from Treeconomics, said: “The workshop addressed a timely and pressing topic; how to plant trees that will survive to maturity. It is a sad fact that so many trees are dying in infancy and many street trees have to be replaced within 10 years of planting.

“This can be largely attributed to poor planning and poor maintenance, and the trend toward ‘planting by numbers’ has largely exacerbated this. The Exeter workshop aimed to address this topic, and equip tree managers with the knowledge and skills to help the trees they manage thrive and reach their full potential.”

The event was co-hosted by Treeconomics, GreenBlue Urban and Barcham Trees.  Topics covered included site selection (where to plant), tree selection and specification (what to plant), and correct installation of engineered tree pits (how to plant).

As well as being taken through informative presentations, participants also witnessed an outdoor examination of both well-planted and poorly-planted trees, on-site at Exeter Science Park.  One particular tree, excavated for this event, had failed to thrive because it was originally supplied with a poor root system.  The issue of how to correctly specify in order to avoid this challenge, was addressed in the presentation given by Barcham Trees, on how to successfully procure nursery trees.  Another excavated tree had failed to survive because it was planted too deeply and the irrigation system was incorrectly installed.

“We’re thrilled to have had such a great turnout for this workshop,” said Nadine from Treeconomics.  “It’s encouraging to see so many professionals in the field come together to learn about best practice in tree planting and care.  We hope that the knowledge from this workshop will assist in the creation of more sustainable and resilient treescapes.”

The workshop was a success, with positive feedback from attendees, who appreciated the opportunity to network and learn from experts in the field.  The organisers plan to hold similar workshops in the future, to continue to promote best practice in tree planting and care.

For more information about this workshop and upcoming events, please contact Nadine Moreby, Treeconomics: [email protected].