Arborists must shift message from risk to benefits

Arboriculturists' traditional focus on risk management will shift to an emphasis on tree benefits, according to consultant Jeremy Barrell.

During a visit to the US-based Ohio Tree Care Conference with Barrell Tree Consultancy colleague David Cashman, the pair argued that arboriculturists have the skills and expertise to dramatically improve communities.

Barrell's keynote speech to more than 500 delegates at the conference outlined his vision of arboriculturists being at the centre of sustainable urban planning. During their stay, the pair also gave a one-day workshop on tree assessment and tree protection on development sites.

Barrell explained: "We are facing an urban canopy cover crisis in the UK and there are valuable lessons we can take from the US on how to reverse that decline.

"If we are to successfully argue the case for trees in the face of mounting pressures on them in the urban realm, we have to convince the accountants that they are worth more alive than dead. That is now the most pressing challenge for modern arboriculture."

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