Managing Special Trees

Special trees provide a rich and diverse range of benefits to society and the environment. Often these special trees will have a specific connection to local history, or be of importance due to it’s height, girth or age. Extremely old trees will vary in age according to their species type: oaks tend to be defined as old once they reach 400 years in age, whereas yew trees which live for thousands of years need to reach at least 800 years old before they are labelled as ancient. These veteran trees can provide habitats for specific insects and fungi not found elsewhere, and their biological and cultural importance means they need to be specially cared for.

Protecting and conserving special trees means understanding their structural integrity and state of health, and then determining a management plan that can involve a range of different measures to try to maximise the well-being of the tree. Rooting environments may need to be considered, alongside artificial supports and of course specialised pruning techniques such as crown retrenchment pruning and halo clearance. It is also important to identify and manage successor trees in the environment where possible.

At Living Trees we are passionate about caring for our nation’s precious and unique arboreal heritage. If you are a landowner responsible for a special tree contact us online for advice on how to best care for your tree and its habitat.