Measures to protect new urban trees "often cause avoidable damage" to them

Over one-third of young London trees show damage from their support and protection system, a newly published survey shows.

Image: Mboner45 (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Image: Mboner45 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Myerscough College senior arboriculture lecturer Duncan Slater, Myerscough graduate Harry Thacker and Nottingham Trent University senior lecturer Jaime Martin studied the supports of 762 establishing trees across 14 London boroughs.

They found 35% of trees showed damage associated with the support system, with four-fifths of cases of severe damage being due to supports not being removed in time.

A comparison between the performance of different support configurations identified that the two-posts-and-ties system "performed consistently well in comparison with all other tree support and protection systems assessed".

"Simple changes to current tree planting practice would minimise the impact of damage" from such systems, they conclude.

The findings are published in the Arboricultural Journal.

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