Arboriculture

Arboriculture: the care and culture of trees…

What are Ancient & Veteran Trees?

The UK is blessed with a relative abundance of trees classed as Ancient or Veteran when compared to most other countries and there is a growing awareness of their importance. Currently there is no automatic legal protection in place for them so we must raise awareness and look after these unique and valuable habitats. They

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Summer Pruning the Woodland Garden

It’s August and the woodland edge garden has become a bit shady and dense; time for a bit of summer pruning. Multi-stem small trees like Corylus, Euonymus and Viburnum all throw up epicormic shoots and get congested, especially the hazel, whilst the understory plantings have finished flowering and look tall, bedraggled and invaded by the

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The Woodland Edge Garden

Of all the ecosystems out there, forests and woodland are possibly the most abundant and diverse. Think about it; we have a thin layer of soil on the surface of this planet and without foliage, nothing between us and the stars. Plants and especially trees, add layers in-between, build microclimates and nurture life. We should

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A look back at Trees in 2022

On this last day of the year, it’s wet and dull outside, so I thought I’d look back at some of the amazing trees I’ve had the privilege to encounter this year whilst visiting and working in the UAE. Some of these I have worked directly with, surveying them as part of a project or

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How to create semi-wild seeded xeriscapes in the Middle East

This is last in a four-part series of articles on this subject, somewhat separated from the other three by time, because of COVID. Links to the first parts are at the bottom. In searching for a new way of creating natural, non-irrigated landscapes in the Middle East, I have already shared how certain species, often

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Coppiced treescapes for the Middle East

This is the third in a four-part series. In previous articles (links at bottom) I talked about the spontaneous regeneration on brownfield sites in the UAE and the utilisation of seeded landscapes to create semi-natural ecosystems without irrigation. Another factor of these landscapes would be to make them productive in a way that would enrich

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Why we need treescapes, not just landscapes, in the Middle-East

Landscapes are all about creating micro-climate, or would be, if designed for that goal. Why is this important and what do I mean? Almost all life is contained in a thin crust of soil, a wedge of atmospheric gases, and water. Plants are the principal medium that interacts with and regulates all three. Absolutely nothing

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Naturalized exotic plants in arid climates

A problem, or an opportunity for a new landscape paradigm? I was recently working on a tree project in Abu Dhabi when I came across a derelict site which intrigued me with it’s range of exotic self-seeded, non-native plants.  The site was next to the Corniche and sandwiched between the Formal Park, my hotel and

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Tree consultancy in the UAE and GCC countries

I’m pleased to have launched a new website and blog dedicated to this aspect of my work.  Over time the blog will become a useful resource to all those interested in the care of trees in the Middle-East.  My focus and experience has so far been within the UAE but the tree range is similar

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Formative tree care in the UAE

On my most recent trip to Dubai, I enjoyed walking through some of the new landscapes that emerge as projects are completed.  The UAE, along with most regions of the Middle-east has a rather limited palette of plants to work with (although that is growing as new plants are tried). What struck me, however, was how poor the quality

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