October 16, 2018

Here’s why we’re planting trees in northern Syria


“Thirty years ago this area was full of trees,” Adin says, pointing at a dusty swathe of harvested wheat fields spreading to the horizon and the Turkish border beyond. “Then the regime sent men to cut them all down.”We are in the autonomous region of northern Syria known as Rojava, standing atop a hill planted with young saplings. To untrained eyes the landscape seems impossibly arid. But Adin, a Kurdish friend who works at a fledgling tree nursery in nearby Derik, remembers when it was still green and living. Widespread deforestation is only one tool used by successive generations of…

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Burton has fewest trees in county due to ‘brewing past’


Burton has fewer trees than other towns and cities in Staffordshire – despite being in the National Forest, it has emerged. Although Burton describes itself as the “gateway to the National Forest“, county council bosses say it still has fewer trees, with one possible reason being due to the town’s brewing heritage. The town still has many of its tree-less Victorian terraces, with “no significant post-war clearance” having taken place in terms of modernising these streets, including adding planting, says a report. But now a two-year pilot project, spearheaded by Staffordshire County Council has been launched to plant more trees in Burton,…

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Proposed merger between UKFPA and Confor


Following discussions between the two leading trade associations in the UK forestry and forest products sectors, the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) and the UK Forest Products Association (UKFPA), proposals for a merger of the two organisations have been announced. Discussions about the proposed merger are now at an advanced stage and are being considered by members of both organisations. “This is an exciting time for the forestry and wood processing industry,” said Confor chair Athole McKillop. “We have so many challenges facing us, from Brexit to plant health, to securing future wood supply, it’s vital that we make best…

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These 15 global cities have the most trees


There’s a global movement encouraging cities to grow more trees and plan more parks. But which ones have the most green space today? To find out, MIT’s Senseable Lab partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to create Treepedia, a site with interactive maps that show the density of greenery in major cities around the world. The researchers used information from Google Street View to determine what they call the “Green View Index,” a rating that quantifies each city’s percentage of canopy coverage based on aerial images. When the project launched in 2016, Treepedia featured 10 cities, but the team…

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Oak Processionary Moth Alert


The plant health service recently rapidly dealt with a finding of Oak Processionary Moth on imported trees thanks to observations from the trade. The case highlights the need for continued vigilance to help protect the UK’s trees and forests against pests and diseases. Oak Processionary Moth is an established pest in parts of London and surrounding areas, however the rest of the country is designated as a Protected Zone (PZ). OPM caterpillars can cause damage to oak trees and can pose some risks to human and animal health. The plant health service has controls in place to limit the spread…

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Bowes Museum’s monkey puzzle tree £10k campaign target reached


A community campaign to create keep the legacy of Bowes Museum’s cherished tree alive, has hit its target. The monkey puzzle tree, was planted by John and Josephine Bowes when the couple founded The Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, in 1871. It has stood proudly in the museum gardens for more than 100 years but had to be felled in May. Instead of letting the tree go to waste, staff set up £10,000 Kickstarter campaign where patrons can buy a hand-turned bowl for £125 – an amount chosen to mark the museum’s 125th anniversary. And with just eight days to go,…

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Booking opens for the UK’s only dedicated Tree Officer Conference


The acclaimed National Tree Officers Conference will return to Telford, 6 November 2018. Last years’ outstanding event hosted more than 230 delegates from local authorities and private practice around the UK, who travelled to Telford last November. This is the only major conference dedicated to the needs of Tree Officers. More than 93 percent of last year’s delegates felt the content and programme met their reasons for attending. The National Tree Officers Conference is a unique gathering for professionals interested in all areas of local authority arboricultural work. The conference is crucial to tree, woodland and planning officers by providing…

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Once again, trees set to dominate Sheffield Council meeting


Sheffield Council’s controversial policies on highways and street trees are set to dominate once again at its major meeting this month. July’s full council will be the first time councillors have met since four tree campaigners appeared in the High Court charged with contempt. The Lib Dems say the council is looking to extend the court injunction for a further three years whilst also extending its scope. Shadow Cabinet member for Environment, Coun Adam Hanrahan, has submitted a motion which calls on the council to “extend an olive branch” to campaigners. Coun Hanrahan said: “With the current civil injunction coming…

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Gunnersbury Park after its £50 million makeover


Gunnersbury Park was bathed in glorious sunshine for its official reopening at the weekend following a £50 million makeover. The 200 acres of parkland was packed with families and sunbathers and there were guided tours of the stunning parklands and feature buildings. There was also a chance to get a first look at the brand new museum inside the large mansion. The parklands have been re-shaped and sculpted so they look more like they did originally in the 19th century. This means a variety of changing landscapes from mowed lawns to carefully managed woodland, a glorious wildflower meadow and kitchen…

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How London’s trees are fighting climate change


Being around trees does a great deal of good for fighting climate change by mitigating air pollution and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These benefits aren’t just felt in rural areas, either. A new study by researchers at University College London found that the trees in the London borough of Camden store as much carbon per hectare as rainforests, Fast Company reports. A slew of health benefits are associated with being around trees. They have been known to reduce people’s stress and improve overall mental health, and according to one 2015 study, a walk in the woods can make people feel seven years…

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