Trees come under the spotlight in a number of reports


Three recently published reports have brought trees into the spotlight, highlighting their value and the importance of managing our tree stock. Together the reports emphasise the vital role trees play in our urban landscapes and argue the importance of planned maintenance and care.

There has been a move in recent years towards planting smaller tree species in urban areas. However, a report into the ‘Green Benefits in Victoria Business Improvement District’, sponsored by, among others, the Mayor of London, calculates that trees and greenery in that area contribute to the removal of 1.2 tonnes of pollutants each year, soak up 18 tonnes of carbon and utilise well over 100,000 tonnes of water which would otherwise go into storm drains. They estimate that without the tree canopy (much of which is created by larger species) the microclimate in central London could rise by 5 degrees centigrade.

Many of the trees in the Business Improvement District are on private land such as squares and require support for landowners and cooperation with local authorities and developers. The other two reports focus on the need for cooperation and planning to care for these valuable assets. ‘Trees in the Townscape’ puts forward 12 key principals that form a step by step guide for major landowners caring for trees. Similarly ‘Neighbourhoods Green’ a report largely put together by the Housing Federation, suggests a tree management toolkit to assist social housing providers when developing a tree strategy.

All three reports highlight the vital role trees play in our communities and in the urban living environment, and stress the need for sound planning and understanding of tree stock. 

Andrew Bowman-Shawsaid

“We welcome this focus on the value of our urban trees and the importance of caring for them. Trees are a living resource which needs to be understood, cared for and maintained not only to enable them to contribute fully to our urban environments as habitats and in relation to climate, but also to manage risk and liability. Sound tree mapping and condition assessments are needed if these are not already in place, as is a regular and well planned system of aftercare and maintenance.”

The reports can be found at:





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