Consultant slams quality of tree-planting schemes

Too many tree-planting schemes fail to follow basic design principles, landscape consultant Peter Thurman told the TEP conference.

Thurman, who is a Fellow of the Arboricultural Association and lead examiner for the Professional Diploma in Arboriculture, said: "Too often tree planting provides a fleeting PR opportunity, with poor implementation. They are plonked in by plonkers then not looked after."

He also criticised the trend towards smaller tree species, saying: "You need to think big. Trees can form living cathedrals, creating a comforting umbrella." He accused supermarkets of creating "thoughtless deserts", particularly in their car parks.

Much amenity planting also falls victim to "stamp collection syndrome", he added - consisting of a jumble of tree species planted for their individual ornamental value. "We want to plant our favourites, but often the most effective schemes have just one species - an unassuming green backdrop which can unify a city," he said.

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