A veteran tree can be defined as: ‘a tree that is of interest biologically, culturally or aesthetically because of its age, size or condition’. Some trees are instantly recognisable as veterans but many are less obvious. Britain has more veteran trees than most countries in Europe, and their conservation is of international importance. Certain invertebrates and fungi associated with the dead wood in veterans occur only where such trees have been continuously present for centuries and landowners have a duty to protect the habitats of species designated for conservation priority. At Symbiosis we are passionate about veteran and ancient trees and we can use our extensive experience in their management for clients such as the National Trust to assist with:

  • Detailed assessments utilising the Veteran Tree Initiative Specialist Survey Methodology to identify immediate and longer term threats to the structural integrity and physiological well-being of veteran trees.
  • The preparation of individual tree management specifications, which might typically include a combination of remedial pruning, installation of artificial support and measures to improve the tree’s rooting environment
  • The organisation and supervision of the implementation of the recommended works, which in the case of particularly important trees will involve working in the tree with the contractor to establish the most appropriate pruning positions and/or determine the nature and extent of other remedial measures required
  • The identification and appropriate management of successor trees to provide a continuity of habitat features

‘An oak tree grows for 300 years, rests for 300 years and spends the next 300 years gracefully declining’ ~ Anon