British public ‘ignorant about trees’

According to a survey reported in Horticulture Week, a trade magazine, more than three-quarters of the people questioned believed that the main role of trees was to provide shade.

The questions, posed on behalf of Velvet Tissues – a UK-based toilet paper firm – also had a few more positive messages when it came to people’s attitudes towards trees, such as 75% agreed that trees featured in a favourite memory and 9% remember kissing a childhood sweetheart under a tree.

More than two-thirds of the people questioned considered the oak to be the UK’s most iconic tree, yet – depressingly – a third were not able to identify it.

The survey is hardly scientific,  and it is surely closely tied to a PR campaign in which the company describes itself as a tree lover (its website says it plants three trees for every one it cuts down to make its products), we felt it was worth featuring on this blog.

Sadly, it was not possible to get more details on the survey’s background because there is nothing on the company’s website and Horticulture Week only ran a very short story on the findings.

Source: Horticulture Week

Date: 25/08/2010

Ancient trees ‘need public funded protection’

One of Britain’s leading experts on trees has expressed astonishment over the lack of public funding to protect ancient trees, reports Horticulture Week.

Ted Green, an adviser to the Queen who was awarded an OBE recently for services to ancient trees, said state cash was needed because of trees’ landscape and cultural importance.

“These trees are old archives of gene banks,” said Green. “They are reservoirs of resistance — that is why they are still standing.”

He told a conference for Wealden District Council recently: “It is important to allow them to go through the natural ageing process and not tidy them away.”

Chris Hannington, Wealden District Council’s landscape and biodiversity officer, said: “There are many threats to the survival of ancient trees.

“Poor management, inappropriate tree surgery and global warming are all important issues affecting them.”

Wealden’s ancient trees are among the largest concentrations in northern Europe and were surveyed recently by Wealden ancient tree survey officer Ali Wright.

Of the 24,000 recorded ancient trees in the UK nearly 1,000 of them — 4% — were in Wealden. These included yew trees that could be 1,000 years old.

Wealden District Council is currently consulting on a set of guidelines to encourage developers to preserve veteran trees.

Source: Horticulture Week

Date: 06/05/2009

UK’s Woodland Trust to plant a million trees

The Woodland Trust is to plant around a million trees on several sites across the UK to protect the “UK’s equivalent of the rainforest”,  reports Horticulture Week.

“The Plant a Tree appeal will help us plant around a million trees at five key sites across the UK, with others to come in the future,” said conservation officer Fran Hitchinson.

“The trees will buffer ancient woodland, protecting these irreplaceable sites — the UK’s equivalent of the rainforest — and thereby increase their ecological resilience.”

The trust’s 350-hectare Heartwood Forest woodland, near St Albans, will protect three ancient woods allowing wildlife to move and thrive, she added.

Low Burnhall in Durham will be bulked out by 80,000 trees to help conserve the ancient trees and create and shelter for wildflower meadows.

While Milton Woods, at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands in Stirling, will see over 180,000 trees planted to create wildlife havens for otters, owls and wading birds.

The Woodland Trust wants people to donate £15 for a tree to be planted and nurtured for 12 years.

Those who give money will be sent updates and pictures.

Source: Horticulture Week

Date: 01/05/2009

Firm to trial bleeding canker ‘cure’

Arboriculture specialists may have found a cure for bleeding canker in horse chestnut trees, Horticulture Week reports.

It says arboculturalist consultancy Jonathan Cocking Associates (JCA) will trial a newly patented product with English Heritage.

JCA managing director Jonathan Cocking said he was trademarking the product, which kills canker bacterium in trees’ vascular systems.

Plugs of bark are removed around the chestnut, he explains, and a tree infusion is screwed into the holes.

The process takes an hour and after a year the tree refoliates, he adds.

“We are rolling it out with a few high-profile programmes including one with English Heritage.

“The treatment is invasive, but it’s a natural product.

“It’s better to get cracking and save a few trees than run a 10-year study programme only to find at the end of it that all the horse chestnuts have died.”

JCA, based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has worked with a Dutch firm on the cure and hopes to license the product later in 2009.

Source: Horticulture Week

Date: 16/01/2009

Christmas trees to stablise dunes

A local authority in the UK has found a clever way of dealing with unwanted old Christmas trees that is eco-friendly and prevents flooding, Horticulture Week reports.

Rangers in East Sussex are using the trees to stabilise sand dunes and protect them from erosion by harsh winds.

They lay the spruce and fir trees horizontally on the dunes to trap the windblown sand, said the county council.

It invited locals to bring their trees to Camber Sands, near Rye, where volunteers collected them and laid them on their sides in shallow trenches.

A council representative said the dunes were home to rare animals like the sand dart and shore waistcoat, and part of the landscape was a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

“Dunes are a dynamic system, with wind-blown sand moving inland in strong winds,” he explained.

“To prevent Camber village flooding and the loss of sand, it must be stabilised.”

Source: Horticulture Week

Date: 12/01/2009

Shrubs play role in UK ‘green security’ scheme

Prickly shrubs are being planted to deter crime and antisocial behaviour in north-west England, reports Horticulture Week.

The Green Security project was launched in Woodford, Stockport, and will eventually be expanded to 14 other locations.

A barrier of mixed native plants has been created along a temporary fence at the pavilion in Woodford Recreation Ground to prevent graffiti, bottle smashing, attempted arson and other anti-social behaviour.

According to Stockport Council, using shrubs for “defensive planting” makes boundary walls and fences more secure.

The shrubs prevent people from climbing over walls and fences into residents’ properties, and also protect structures from being daubed with graffiti.

Other project locations include allotments, parks and streets throughout the borough.

Stockport Primary Care Trust (PCT) provided the Safer Stockport Partnership, which includes  Greater Manchester Police, with £10,000 to help set up the project.

Source: Horticulture Week

Date: 06/01/2009

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