New microscopic technique can identify tree roots

New microscopic techniques for differentiating between willow and poplar roots could assist in solving subsidence claims, according to researchers.

Working with the European Plant Science Laboratory (EPSL) in North Wales, Marishal Thompson Group has carried out trials and "blind" sampling to demonstrate an ability to differentiate accurately between the trees. The research is critical, according to head of insurance services Keiron Hart, because of the difficulty in distinguishing between willow and poplar.

He said: "Identification of roots is a key component of any subsidence claim involving trees. This approach ensures that when trees need to be removed or pruned, they are the right ones.

"Additionally, accurate species identification allows determination of liability and effective recovery of costs."

Marishal Thompson believes that it has found a cost-effective method of identifying which tree is causing the problem, which could lead to lower felling rates.

Arboricultural consultant Jeremy Barrell said the research could be an effective way of limiting loss of trees in urban environments.

"Every tree matters in the wider scheme of things," he explained. "It is a very serious issue, so to lose trees without proper evidence is not good or an effective way of working. To be able to identify definitively which trees are causing the damage would be useful."

JCA Arboricultural Consultants had been working on a similar project to attempt to find an accurate method of differentiating between willow and poplar. The firm's research was focused on DNA, however, and managing director Jonathan Cocking said the major issue was cost.

"To do it by DNA can be very expensive. Willow and poplar are some of the most common species causing subsidence, but can be difficult to identify microscopically."

Hart added: "Until now, traditional microscopic techniques have been unable to tell (willow and poplar) apart. But this saves time, money and trees."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Are tree suppliers seeing the benefit of the health message of trees?

Are tree suppliers seeing the benefit of the health message of trees?

The message that health, the environment and business all benefit from trees is finally getting through, but are nurseries seeing an upturn? Sally Drury reports.

What products are available to help ensure success this planting season?

What products are available to help ensure success this planting season?

Young trees face a tough challenge to get established. Sally Drury looks at some of the best products available to help ensure successful planting projects.

Horticulture Week Business Award - Arboriculture Consultant of the Year

Horticulture Week Business Award - Arboriculture Consultant of the Year

Winner - Barrell Tree Consultancy


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

BUSINESS LEADs

Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

HW Top UK Arboriculture Businesses

See our exclusive RANKING of arboriculture businesses by annual turnover. 

HORTICULTURE WEEK Custodian Awards

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2018 winners.

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

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

Products & Kit Resources