As a consultancy one of our primary objectives is to preserve and create habitats that ensure local flora and wildlife can thrive. In this article our habitat management specialist Andrew Ashpole and lead arboricultural consultant Jake Mellor explain what tree veteranisation involves and why this process should be considered as part of an Arboricultural Impact Assessment.
WHAT IS TREE VETERANISATION?
Veteranisation is a process carried out to increase the amount of dead wood like habitats for wildlife. The process creates hollows, dead areas within the tree trunk and increases sap flow to attract wildlife and help create thriving environments for protected or threatened species.
Ideally veteranisation should be part of the actions resulting from an Arboricultural Impact Assessment (in accordance with BS5837) whereby creating more dead wood habitats is one of the recommendations within the report. Veteranisation of trees is highly recommended when glades have been created and when thinning around veteran trees is required.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TREE VETERANISATION?
Veteranisation of trees can be particularly beneficial if the felling of other nearby veteran trees is required to increase light to the remaining trees and habitats. This action is important for many threatened species as it will create long-lasting habitats in living trees.
HOW IS TREE VETERANISATION DONE?
The process is usually carried out by a fully qualified arborist who will use a chain saw to carve out the tree bark in order to mimic damage that would normally occur naturally such as branch breakages caused by storm damage, lightning and the disturbances that might be caused by browsing animals such as squirrels and birds. e.g. woodpeckers.
Other habitat creation measures may also include creating or adding nesting boxes, ringbarking of large branches, ring barking the top of the tree and mimicking a lightning strike.
If you would like further advice on tree veteranisation or would like to discuss a restoration plan for trees planted on your land or development, please get in touch.