Ancient tree care and management
To sustain the lives of ancient and other veteran trees, it’s vital that the trees and land around them are properly cared for by their owners, and by the arboriculturists and others managing them. Veteran trees present a unique set of management challenges which differ from conventional arboriculture. These challenges often reflect current or historic changes in management practices that affect the tree or its surroundings.
The following document sets out the things you should consider before undertaking management, and a number of common examples of management challenges, potential solutions and links to further guidance. These challenges have been split into three sections: Management of land surrounding veteran trees, Management to prevent structural failure and Continuation of traditional management practices.
The following Veteran tree handbooks can be downloaded and purchased from our online bookshop
- Ancient and other veteran trees: further guidance on management (2013).
- Veteran Trees: A guide to good management (2000).
The following videos on the practical management of veteran trees (2014) are available from our resources pages.
- Techniques for crown reducing a veteran tree;
- Halo clearance for veteran trees;
- The importance of the land around a veteran tree;
- Common sense risk management of veteran trees;
- Creation of decaying wood habitats;
- Management of veteran fruit trees;
- Management of veteran pollards still in a regular cycle of cutting.
Our Ancient Tree Guides can also be downloaded. This series of eight guides provide an introduction to a range of topics:
- Trees and farming (2005);
- Trees in historic parks and landscape gardens (2008);
- Trees and development (2011);
- What are ancient, veteran and other trees of special interest (2008);
- Trees and climate change (2008);
- The special wildlife of trees (2009);
- Trees for the future (2009);
- Trees and events (2012).
If you have established that management is needed, we have produced guidance on employing a suitable contractor to undertake veteran tree management