It is remarkable that oaks that began life a thousand years ago still exist in the British Isles, while the suckering elm and aspen, coppiced lime and ash, not to mention the venerable yews that may be even older. How these trees have managed to survive into our present time is truly fascinating. However, the side effects and collateral impact of our ever-advancing technological evolution, are taking their toll of natural things, not least on our ancient trees.
Ancient trees are a significant part of our historic, cultural and ecological heritage, treasured by many generations; in the past because of their economic and social value or as elements of picturesque or romantic landscapes and more recently as a result of our increased understanding of their considerable ecological importance.
In parallel with this has come greater understanding of the management they need. Many of the techniques familiar to our forebears have been lost or swept aside and current techniques have been re-assessed, notably through the lively meetings and discussions within the Ancient Tree Forum (ATF). Andrew Cowan is an active member of the ATF, providing advice on ancient trees and bats, and sits on the Media Committee, which is concerned with the promotion of our ancient and veteran trees.
ArborEcology can give you practical advice on all aspects of ancient veteran tree management, from the importance of sometimes doing nothing at all, to taking positive action for individual trees, their habitats and dependent species. This is set in context by an understanding of the way in which trees grow, age and decay, in association with a diverse range of co-evolutionary organisms. These trees need and deserve our respect. It would be a sad testament to our generation if our irresponsible management resulted in their loss, because there is nothing we could do to replace them.
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