Better tree establishment among fund's research priorities

Fund4Trees, the industry initiative to raise funds for applied arboricultural research, has set out what it sees as the main knowledge gaps affecting the industry in its first research strategy, published this week.

Image: Fund4Trees
Image: Fund4Trees

The strategy is intended to guide how Fund4Trees commissions research, awards grants and bursaries, and communicates results, between now and 2024.

It will focus is on three interlinked themes of planning for trees in green infrastructure, ensuring successful tree establishment, and hence delivery of multiple benefits to society and the environment.

Under the first of these, it aims to tackle the "failure to secure successful establishment and compatible longevity of our urban treescape" including by assessing current legislation and the role of arboriculture in green infrastructure more widely.

On urban tree establishment, it will support research into planting success rates with respect to planting techniques and aftercare, and also into whether adopting industry best practice (BS:8545) boosts tree establishment.

On the diverse benefits of urban trees, it will back the gathering of hard data to justify planting and management programmes - noting that "ecosystem benefits increase over time as trees increase in both size and age".

The strategy arose from a meeting of Fund4Trees trustees and members of its Research Advisory Committee at Kew Gardens in July 2018 (pictured above).

Research proposals in line with the strategy's objectives can be submitted via the Fund4Trees website. Its deadlines for applications are 1 June and 1 November. 

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