Older residential areas have nearly twice as much tree cover, study finds

The smaller gardens typical of modern housing developments tend to reduce overall tree canopy cover, a study of an English town has concluded.

Image: Micolo J (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Micolo J (CC BY 2.0)

New developments are "one of the biggest threats to and greatest opportunities for urban forests", according to Stephen Shields and Duncan Slater of Myerscough College's Department of Greenspace.

Writing in the Arboricultural Journal, Shields and Slater added those threats "have not been analysed in depth".

The artilce compared tree cover in residential areas Shrewsbury from three different eras using i-tree ECO software. They found that pre-1950 residential housing areas had significantly greater canopy cover (17.8%) than both 1951-1985 housing (13.1%) and post-1985 housing areas (9.9%).

"Analysis of tree age, size and ownership distributions identified that larger growing garden trees in the earlier housing schemes were the major contributor to this difference in canopy cover between areas," they concluded.

"There is a negative trend in urban canopy cover that relates to the size of garden space allocated to more modern residential properties, which is not sufficiently compensated for by tree planting in adjacent public areas."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Arboriculture Contracts & Tenders

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources