Trees, Science and Opinion

22nd February 2012

Suitably Qualified Arboriculturist (Tree Bloke)

  As a profession, arboriculture has much to learn from ecology. Ecological consultants have, over the last few decades, moved from relative obscurity to become a recognised established profession. Meanwhile arboricultural consultants, when asked the inevitable conversation starter “what do you do for a living?”  still tend to have some explaining to do. This professionalism within ecology can be highlighted by the ecological sections of the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM); where it is recognised that ecological work for BREEAM is specialist […]
1st February 2012

Are we hard-wired to love trees?

  The links between trees, forests and improved mental and physical health are becoming clearer, with an increasing amount of applied research providing a more solid evidence base. When researchers offer explanations as to why such links are evidenced, their theories tend to ultimately be grounded in psycho-evolutionary theory or what the Biologist E.O Wilson termed ‘Biophilia’. Psycho-evolutionary theory is based on the notion that millions of years of evolution have left modern humans with a partly genetic predisposition to […]
21st December 2011

‘Cracking Up’ Response Published in Chartered Forester Magazine

In the autumn edition of Chartered Forester magazine I had a short opinion piece published, ‘Cracking up’, which looked at the issues surrounding urban trees being removed due to subsidence claims and highlighted how the issue seems to make the tree industry so emotive. The piece provoked considerable interest and a few critical responses (generally from tree consultants who make a living from dealing with tree related subsidence claims). The latest issue of Chartered Forester featured a letter from Michael Lawson and my response which I have copied below.   […]
16th December 2011

Development tree surveys to identify assets and constraints.

When trees are on a development site they are often unduly considered a constraint to the sites development potential. However a suitable tree survey for planning should help identify not only trees that may pose a constraint to the development potential of a site, but also the trees that would add value and be an asset to any new development. This newly built kindergarten is a great example of using a sites existing trees as an asset not a constraint. It […]
2nd December 2011

Flourishing Trees, Flourishing Minds: Nearby trees may improve mental wellbeing.

Winson. Flourishing trees flourishing minds This is the urban forestry research paper – flourishing trees, flourishing minds; looking at how urban trees may improve mental wellbeing. The research paper forms part of the Forestry Commission Research Report Trees, people and the built environment – Proceedings of the Urban Trees Research Conference 13-14 April 2011  Flourishing trees, flourishing minds: nearby trees may improve mental wellbeing among housing association tenants.Abstract: Interventions to create even a small change in the average level of mental wellbeing across the […]
29th November 2011

What is a forest?

When most people think of a forest, they think of a big area of trees. Yet definitions of a forest vary (for example, as arboricultural consultants we focus on the ‘urban forest‘) and a historical overview of the definition of ‘forest’ suggests it is not as clear cut as it seems.   In ‘Forests, The Shadow of Civilization’ (1993), Robert Harrison notes how medieval chivalric romances tend to represent forests as lying beyond the confines of the civic world and […]
25th September 2011

‘Cracking Up’ Trees and Subsidence, ICF Chartered Forester Magazine, Adam Winson

Below is a short opinion piece  I wrote for Chartered Forester Magazine – the membership magazine of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, the professional body for foresters and arboriculturists – my view is based on my work as an arboricultural consultant undertaking tree surveys in relation to property damage: Anyone who attended this years ICF conference can be under no doubt as to the major benefits urban trees provide. However, as some of the post-conference debate showed, urban trees implicated […]
4th August 2011
Trees, People and the Built Environment logo

Trees, People and the Built Environment

This years ICF conference ‘Trees, People and the Built Environment’, was a great experience. At around 400 delegates this was probably the largest number ever seen at a tree conference in the UK. Nearly all of the 29 speakers were academic doctors and the international flavour was great, with nine of them invited from overseas; so it was an honour for me to stand up alongside them to represent my research and then get my brains picked by an audience of arboricultural experts afterwards. […]