Keith Sacre of Barcham Trees addressed the inaugural 2016 European Landscape Conference held at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, in early September 2016 on the subject of the ethics of tree supply. The conference was introduced due to a growing awareness of the impact of urbanisation and the threat it may pose to our traditional relationship with the natural world.
Sacre, who is now also the Chairman of the Arboricultural Association, spoke about the importance of informed specifications in tree supply for both nursery and client, and on the matter of bio-security in the United Kingdom. In 2014 Barcham published a six-page document outlining its commitment to bio-security, the first UK tree nursery to do so. Central to this is the pledge it will not import trees and sell them for immediate planting into the UK landscape. All imported trees are held on the nursery for a full growing season, during which time they are subject to regular severe inspection for pest and disease, including those conducted by DEFRA.
While most Barcham trees are home-grown, every imported delivery is given a unique batch number, visible on every tree the nursery sells, thereby providing a complete audit trail from supplying nursery to planting in the UK landscape.
Keith Sacre believes pests and diseases are a real and ever-present issue all users of trees must face, and that we cannot expect the authorities to take a lead. ”Companies and individuals must take responsibility for their actions. These threats must be faced, it is irresponsible to ignore them and we should act to prevent their arrival and proliferation”, he said.