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16th March 2017

Managing standing dead veteran trees

David Humphries

Hampstead Heath tree in vascular decline following significant storm damage in the 1990’s.

David Humphries, Trees Management Officer for the City of London, writes about veteran trees retained as standing dead wood at Hampstead Heath

Although not an ancient tree the veteran boundary oak (Quercus robur) above has now been retained at an acceptable level of risk, as a standing dead structure for its niche habitat and biodiversity value. It was in vascular decline for a number of years following significant storm damage in the 1990s, and it eventually succumbed naturally due to loss of canopy and to a poor partial rooting environment. The oak sits next to a well-used path in an urban open space with regular footfall within a couple of meters.

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