We cover most aspects of tree surgery, from cutting little bits off trees (tree pruning) to dismantling large trees in confined locations. I am also increasingly interested in woodland management, not with a view to improving or managing the financial return of a woodland, but more to enhancing the bio-diversity of a woodland. That is, to increase the diversity of indigenous species of trees, shrubs and under-story planting. This will increase the number and variety of invertebrates (creepy crawly type animals), which in turn will increase the number and variety of vertebrates (regular-type animals, birds, bats, frogs, mammals etc) and so create a complex interdependent food web. This is especially important these days given the environmental destructive rapaciousness of non-organic subsidised agricultural production – euphemistically known as farming.
Stumps and Fruit tree pruning
Leave stumps in the ground. In nature stumps will rot away naturally and become a home for beetles and bugs, including stag beetles – remember them? If you are fortunate enough to have an area of fruit trees or a small orchard, why bother spending money on pruning them? It’s better to plant honeysuckle and roses, and under-plant with cowslips, primroses and wild daisies. The wildlife will love it. Buy your organic apples from the supermarket. It will probably work out cheaper.
Big Trees/Dangerous Trees
Broadly trees have two fates. They will either fall down naturally or be cut down by someone like me. As trees age the wood gets attacked by fungi and rots. This creates cavities and weakens the tree’s structure making old trees potentially unsafe. Unfortunately by removing them we also remove a crucial habitat for a range of wildlife. For instance, bats and certain birds, including owls, nest in them. Our approach then is to retain the tree cognizant of the potential dangers and to take steps to mitigate these, for instance by severe crown reduction or pollarding, or even partial tree removal but leaving the trunk as standing deadwood, a very important wildlife habitat.