More than nine out of 10 arboriculture professionals fear that public worries about tree dangers, sparked by recent poor weather, will eventually outweigh perceived amenity value.
In the survey, carried out by the Arboriculture Association, some 91 per cent partly or fully agreed that "public perceptions about the dangers of trees in extreme weather conditions will rise and overshadow the ecological and amenity value that trees provide".
The survey, released as part of the association's 50th anniversary, had 344 respondents, 70 per cent from amenity or local authorities. Some 61 per cent said the storms were the worst for 10-20 years. They found 57 per cent of trees that came down were already defective. Some 34 per cent saw their call-out rate treble.
One-tenth said there had been a "significant increase" in rogue traders setting up to pick up work this winter, while 67 per cent saw an increase in cowboys entering the market.
The association has also published reports by Paul Hanson on biosecurity measures for tree surgery works in relation to ash die-back. He advised not to remove infected material and to burn it on site instead. Hanson also said not to chip unless for quick-use biofuel.
Arboricultural Association chairman Jago Keen has written reports on trees and flooding as well as trees and air quality. The group also recently published a report on London losing its trees.
Managing Chalara Ash Dieback in Kent has been published by the Forestry Commission, Arboricultural Association, Kent County Council, Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and EU funding body ADAFOR.
Arboricultural Association chairman Jago Keen said the infection may have been vehicle spread via the Channel Tunnel, with the worst infection found around its mouth. The report gives biosecurity advice on coppicing and clearing debris.