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Veteran Tree Management

In the UK we are blessed with the largest amount of ancient trees within Europe. These trees require careful management to nurture into old age and beyond. Trees that possess traits such as crown retrenchment (the crown dying back and compacting), water pools, deadwood and crevices in the bark and hollow trunks referred to as ‘Veteran’. Veteran Tree Management involves expert pruning techniques. Reduction to root compaction (which are like natural fractures), branch failure & canopy retrenchment often need to be addressed in order to save the life of a veteran/ancient tree.

Veteran tree management sustains the natural appearance of the tree in addition to protecting the vital natural habitats for plants, insect & animal species. Landowners have a duty of care to the protection of veteran trees and the habitats of species designated for conservation priority.

Ancient and veteran trees require specialist management survey which Surrey Tree Care provide. A management regime for a population of these special trees can only be developed following a veteran tree survey. This may involve identifying and assessing a population of trees and their and specific location, and structural conditions, assessing previous management techniques used (for example pollard and coppice works) and future recommendations which may include the following techniques:

  • Retrenchment Pruning: Crown reduction in late-mature and senescent trees to anticipate or keep pace with decline in the crown
  • Natural Fracture Cutting: These cuts simulate natural fractures on stems to encourage the production of regrowth from dormant buds further down the branches, and provide habitat for wood boring insects
  • Monolithing: A tree reduced to its main stem (ie. without branches), sometimes left on felling a dead or dying tree in appropriate contexts
  • Conservation Deadwooding: Removing any dying or diseased wood and dead limbs from the upper canopy (crown) of the tree or limbs which cross rub and overly
  • Pole Thinning: Using a pole to remove fruit and thin that part of the tree
  • Halo Thinning: Removal of younger trees in a canopy to prevent overshading
  • Retention of Trees for Conservation Reasons

To arrange a site visit to inspect your veteran trees please call 01483 285951.