‘Down But Not Out’ by Tom

Leaning tree on A272 near Sheet, Hampshire

Trees are great. Fact. They provide us with oxygen, shade, habitat for wildlife, timber for building, chemicals for medicines, screening, beauty, shade…the list really does go on. They have long been a symbol of permanence within the landscape, taking decades to grow to the lofty heights that we so admire. Yet it takes only an instant to cut them down and lose it all…

 Therefore, safeguarding mature trees is an extremely important aspect of a Landscape Architects work and we’re helped by ‘BS 5837:2012 (see Bernie’s previous post!). 25-30cm girth replacements are great but they’re just not the same and feel like a meagre offering when you’ve lost a tree with a girth of several feet. The value of a large mature tree should have the potential to outweigh that of one extra house squeezed onto a development plot, since a pleasant and good quality landscape encourages us to pay a premium for property. What’s more, trees can really mean something to people and I’m always amazed by how attached we can get to a plant that we have no real link to, simply because it’s part of our daily scenery.

 This tree is found on the A272 just outside Sheet. It hasn’t been felled, it’s just resting on its branches and has been for maybe 20 years now – as long as I can remember anyway. Consideration was given to cutting it down but people objected because it was so familiar and liked as a local landmark. The plucky tree that fell over but wouldn’t give up. What could be a better symbol that we shouldn’t be quick to cut down large trees? Trees inspire. Trees endure. Trees are great.

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