Are we too pernickety about our urban trees?

Posted on 29 October 2013 in Urban Forest Generally,

Should there be "grades" of trees available?

It has been suggested to us by some growers that the standard for trees set by the NATSPEC specification is too high and that trees really don't need to be that good.

Our response to that is:

If it is simply the act of achieving tree sales that matters to someone, or if the trees are to be planted for no purpose other than ‘going through the motions’ without concern for the outcome, then the standard of the trees supplied is not critical. And there might well be situations where that approach is appropriate.

However, if there is any interest in the outcome, in the long-term success of the planting, in the achievement of the design objectives, or if any of the trees are to be located in public spaces - then the quality of trees used cannot be compromised.

Should we accept and allow for natural variation?

Again it has been suggested that trees are “natural things” and we should not intervene but be comfortable with variations, losses, and so forth.

What needs to be recognised is that, in a natural landscape, the trees you see as the climax of that landscape are the strongest and most successful of the thousands (if not millions) of seedlings that may have started out, following a fire for example. A fairly intense process of natural selection has occurred.

But when we plant trees into an urban landscape we are actually trying to create the final crop. If these trees are also to be handsome, safe and successful in the landscape, then it is we that need to do the selecting – and it must be done prior to planting. Only the best available trees should be chosen.

Angophora costata at Sydney University supplied by Trees Impact.  Premium standard and the outcome of careful management and selection by humans.

Angophora costata at Sydney University supplied by Trees Impact.
Premium standard and the outcome of careful management and selection by humans.

Copyright © 2013-2019 Trees Impact Pty Limited, all rights reserved
Material on this site is subject to copyright under Australian law and other intellectual property protection. Trees Impact Pty Limited claims ownership of the copyright in the information and material provided on this site, unless stated otherwise. Material on or accessible through this site may not be copied or used for any commercial purpose, sale or further dissemination (except as legally allowed for private use) without the written permission of Trees Impact Pty Limited.

While Trees Impact Pty Limited has attempted to make the information on this website and its downloadable content as accurate as possible, that information and the opinions expressed are intended to be informative or to stimulate thought and discussion only and are provided in good faith without any express or implied warranty. There is no guarantee given as to the accuracy or currency of any of the information and Trees Impact Pty Limited does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage occasioned to any party by use of the information contained on or accessed through this site.