Street tree history written by Mark Johnston

Street Trees in Britain: A History, by Mark Johnston and published by Windgather Press, is the first book on the history of Britain's street trees and tells their story, from the tree-lined promenades of the seventeenth century to majestic city centre boulevards to the suburbs.

The book, from Windgather Prees, is written by Dr Mark Johnston MBE, the former arboriculture academic at Myerscough College, fellow of the Arboricultural Association and Chartered Forester.

His government-commissioned Trees in Towns II survey served as an influential policy and practice guide. 

He says street trees represent ‘living history’ in modern streetscapes.

The book covers street trees from the seventeenth century to boulevards in modern city centres, looking at the impact of the Victorian street tree movement in cities and suburbs.

Trees in towns, seaside resorts, model villages, garden cities, garden suburbs and new towns are covered.

While much of the book focuses on the social and cultural history of street trees, the last three chapters look at the practicalities of how these trees have been engineered into concrete landscapes.

This includes the many threats to street trees over the years, such as pollution, conflict with urban infrastructure, pests and diseases and what is probably the greatest threat in recent times – the dramatic growth in car ownership.

Some of its themes were introduced in the author’s previous work, Trees in Towns and Cities: A History of British Urban Arboriculture.

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