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Urban Forestry

The urban forest helps create healthy and economically successful communities and liveable places for people and wildlife. Good practice in urban forestry is integral to the form and function of all our urban areas.

Our Vision for a Resilient Urban Forest

Our Vision for a Resilient Urban Forest sets out a clear vision for what could be achieved by a resilient urban forest; identifies the key components and pulls together evidence, data and case studies to illustrate the variety of benefits afforded by the urban forest. This document was produced by the Urban Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committee Network

The vision document builds on earlier work undertaken by the Forestry Commission to make the case for urban trees.

Introducing England's Urban Forest

Introducing Urban Forest follows on from Our Vision for a Resilient Urban Forest defining what an urban forest is and seeking to understand England’s urban forest; their structure and composition. It looks at what tools are available to help measure this kind of information - such as the National Forest Inventory, iTree and Treezilla. It compares canopy cover in 17 towns and cities in England - and describes what needs to be done next and how you can get involved.

Large Landscape Trees in Development - CIRIA

The Forestry Commission has assisted CIRIA (the Construction Industry Research and Information Association) to work with other partners in producing new guidance on integrating large landscape trees into new development as part of their "Building Greener" initiative.

Guidance titled "The benefits of large species trees in urban landscapes: a costing, design and management guide" was published by CIRIA in March 2012 and is available from the CIRIA bookshop.

Trees in the Townscape - TDAG

The Forestry Commission is a principal partner in the Trees and Design Action Group, a group of individuals and organisations covering tree interests, developers, architects, designers and built environment professionals.

TDAG has produced a 10 point action plan to improve the lot of trees in the built environment. It has produced guidelines for maximising the potential for large landscape trees on development sites and on tree valuation.

Its latest publication is "Trees in the Townscape" offers 12 principles of best practice for all thoise involved in local decision making to ensure that towns and cities are underpinned by a 21st century approach to urban trees.

Download the guidelines at the TDAG website.

Joint Mitigation Protocol

The Joint Mitigation Protocol (JMP) is an agreed method of subsidence claims management where trees are implicated as being the cause of building movement.

It seeks to establish best practice in the processing and investigation of tree root induced building damage, benchmarking time scales for responses and standards of evidence.

The protocol was published in 2008 and included input from insurers, local authority tree and risk managers, loss adjusters, engineers and arboricultural consultants.

Its principal aims are to speed up the process of claims handling, decision making and mitigation implementation leading to resolution, while at the same time recognising the value of trees in the built environment and providing local authorities with all the investigative evidence required at the beginning of the process.

A timely decision may then be made on what course of action is appropriate in respect of the tree.

For the first time, building insurers and their agents have agreed that remedial pruning may be considered as an option rather than always asking for tree removal.

It is hoped that adoption of the Joint Mitigation Protocol by individual local authorities and insurers alike as an agreed and mutually beneficial process will foster co-operation and partnership working between the two sectors.

Trees that should be retained will be and claims will be processed quickly so resident’s properties are repaired without unnecessary delay.

A register of signatories to the JMP is held centrally on the London Tree Officers Association website.

Further information can be found in a Joint Mitigation Protocol and on the London Tree Officers Association website.

National Tree Safety Group

The National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) is composed of a number of organisations with an interest in tree risk management. In 2011 they produced 3 guidance documents:

1. Common sense risk management of trees (main guidance document priced at £19.99 plus P&P)
2. A Landowner Summary (for estates and smallholdings available free)
3. Managing Trees for Safety (for the domestic tree owner available free)

All the documents are now available from through the Forestry Commission publications archive.

Last updated: 22nd June 2017

What's of interest

Our vision for a resilient urban forest cover  

Our Vision for a Resilient Urban Forest

Forest Research has dedicated researchers looking at various aspects of research into urban forestry. Find out more information and relevant reports about urban forestry and society, and urban trees and a changing climate

London i-Tree Eco Project

Trees and Design Action Group

Construction Industry Research and Information Association

London Tree Officers Association