News: Expert workshop on Tree Care and Arboriculture standards in Europe

An expert workshop on tree care topics brought interesting ideas and common trends to Brussels.
Participants from 13 nationalities attended the workshop organised the 23th April by the Environmental Partnership Association and hosted by Pavel Poc MEP at the European Parliament in Brussels, among them policy makers from the European, national and regional level, experts, landowner representatives, tree hunters, landscape designers and forest certification representatives.

The event was dynamic and made participative with the questions raised by an interested audience.

You can download all presentations 

The welcome speech, delivered by Mr Pavel Poc focused on the importance of trees not only for the environment itself and for a clean air, but also for human health and well being, reasons which should support the direct expenditure in community budgets.

Jaroslav Kolarik, explained the basis of the Arboriculture standards established in Czech republic based on standardization, education and certification as the three tools on which tree care can build up. He also introduced the tree care inventory accessible for professionals, students but also a larger public.

Luke Fay focused his presentation on the importance of veteran trees as habitats for many species. The creation of such ecosystem’s can take decades, but are easily and quickly destroyed by animals or humans. Through observation of veteran trees and the analyse of the results of these observations Long Term Management Plans are produced, targeting the well-being of veteran trees through tree care actions, that have been spreading for a few decades.

From the practice perspective, Clément Van Daele and Jérémy Leidgens, both practitioners in arboriculture, focused on the benefit of trees for the Urban environment and went through some examples of tree care solutions in cities as well as the consequences of bad tree management, such as drastic pruning or root removal.

Most of the speakers agreed that the best scenario would be to start by planting the right tree in the right place.
Ernst Schulte, head of sector Forest Focus, DG ENVI, briefly stated the related policies of the European Commission in the field, and emphasized trees potential as a climate regulator.

The question of the cost of tree care treatment was also raised, and an estimate of 1 day work of 1 worker per tree at 150 € was pointed.

To conclude, Michal Vesely summarized that trees are in competition with other elements of the city. With different wordering experts and policy makers are discussing the same issues, a more comprehensive approach is needed for the best results, including for example the road safety strategies, Natura 2000 or the economic dimension.