17th May 2016
Further research needed into ancient trees and their management
An important part of the ATF’s work is to develop and share our understanding of ancient trees, their biodiversity and how to manage them. Encouraging and supporting research is one of the ways in which we do this, and a list of research needs has now been drawn up.
Tree population surveys, retrenchment pruning, soil micro-organisms, and the management of trees with decay caused by particular fungi, are among the topics in the list of potential research areas.The list is based on research needs identified in the ATF’s book ‘Ancient and other veteran trees: further guidance on management’, edited by David Lonsdale.
‘As well as identifying the areas where further research is needed, the document identifies some of the areas where limited research already exists’. says Helen Read of the Ancient Tree Forum. In relation to tree work for the management of veterans, for example, it states that further research should ideally involve properly replicated experiments on the long-term effects of a range of management practices on different species, but the document acknowledges that there is already an increasing bank of information based on ‘before and after’ records at sites like Burnham Beeches and Hatfield Forest.