UK landowners, arborists and members of the public are invited to nominate veteran trees that are stressed or in decline to receive free revitalising treatment from Tree Rescue.
Britain has more ancient trees than almost all other European countries but, despite their value, maintaining their health has long been overlooked in environmental plans and legislation, including DEFRA’s 25 Year Environmental Plan published earlier this year. Now tree officers, consultants and the general public have the opportunity to get free treatment for their veteran trees through Tree Rescue.
Tree Rescue, which is sponsored by Apex Soil Solutions and Carbon Gold, is a campaign to provide free treatment to at least five veteran trees across the country which will be selected at the campaign’s close in November. As the campaign attracts sponsors, more trees will be rescued.
Martin Saxon, project lead at Tree Rescue, says: “Everyone knows trees are important. They pump out clean air, absorb toxins, create habitats for wildlife, prevent flooding and generally enrich our lives. But when they get stressed or start declining, the mentality is often geared towards chopping them down instead of treating them.
“When it comes to significant veteran and ancient trees, getting the chainsaws out is the last thing anyone wants. That’s why we started Tree Rescue; so we could save veteran trees and also demonstrate in a big way that deep-soil enriched biochar treatment is more effective, cheaper and a less disruptive route than simply chopping them down and replanting. This is all about behaviour change.”
The treatment on offer includes Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar applied via the Apex deep soil Geo-Injector, a relatively new form of treatment that has proved successful in revitalising some of the UK’s most significant ancient trees including the iconic 200-year-old Bexley Charter Oak at Danson Park and the Totteridge Yew, a contender for Europe’s oldest tree at 2,000 years old.
Biochar is a highly porous and inert form of charcoal which alters the structure of soil, improving its water holding capacity, and providing the perfect housing for beneficial microorganisms that promote tree root health. Trees treated with Carbon Gold’s biochar, which is enriched with mycorrhizal fungi, worm casts and seaweed, have been shown to be resistant to ash dieback, honey fungus, horse chestnut leaf miner, acute oak decline and other pests and diseases in controlled third-party trials.
The Apex deep soil Geo-Injector is a high-tech decompaction tool that’s used to reach the very deepest tree roots and apply enriched biochar.