management of garden trees

Mark Laurence is an expereinced arborist and can offer tree consultancy, separately or in conjunction with landscape and garden design services; this gives a whole site assessment of your garden or project. For commercial sites, assessing the existing tree stock with surveys to BS 5837:2012 is the starting point for all planning applications.

Understanding what a tree needs, its condition, vigour, flaws and weaknesses is essential to making the right decisions when assessing health. I have a particular passion for working with the care of mature/veteran/ancient trees and always view a tree not just as a physical entity, but as a phytobiome - the centre point of a micro-biome. Gone are the days when decay or fungi are automatically assumed bad, as they are a natural part of a tree's cycle and essential part of the ecosystem.

Surveying of Trees

in gardens and development sites

Surveys to BS 5837 and beyond

I survey and assess trees, conforming to British Standards and when appropiate, to the Veteran Tree Initiative methods. There are many aspects to take into account which are not covered by the BS standards, so surveys are tailored to suit the outcome.

My advice is impartial and independant of any outcome of subsequent works. I can put any contracting out to reputable arborists and oversee works if required.

I also work in the UAE and other GCC countries, and am very familiar with trees in desert environments. I have a separate website for that:

tree survey in Abu Dhabi

Survey using GIS pinned onto OSM Map provides location, canopy size and Root Protection Area.

tree surveying in Abu Dhabi

Surveying trees to the grounds of a private palace, Abu Dhabi.

Services Offered

relating to tree health, planning and ecology

Tree Care

I specialise in the care and preservation of trees and their phytobiomes

  • Tree assessment and surveying

  • Care plans for tree management

  • Assessment of ecosystem health

  • Soil compaction testing to rootzones

  • Management of trees on developments

  • Deadwood ecosystem creations

  • Veteran & Ancient Trees

  • Coppicewood landscape systems

Trees as Ecosystems

trees as the basis of our ecosystems

The Tree Phytobiome

A phytobiome is the tree's evironment and associated communities of organisms, plus all their interactions.

Many of the things we have traditionally seen as a pest or disease are now recognised for what they are - ecological assets. This is why the understanding of a tree as a phytobiome is so important and why the thinking of a tree in isolation, or as mere amenity structure is insufficient.

Survey of holm oak in West Sussex

A mature holm oak in West Sussex.With multiple stems and a massive girth, such trees need care and regular inspection.

Survey of ghaf tree for ecology

Modern arboriculture recognises that 'defects' can be ecosystem assets, given assessment for risk and benefit. Ghaf tree, Abu Dhabi

Survey of holm oak in West Sussex

A tree is home to many insects, birds, lizards and bats. This is a Red Sea Leaf Toed Gecko in a ghaf tree tearout, UAE.

Survey of ghaf tree for ecology

Many different fungi live on or in trees, most are either beneficial or saprophytic (living on dead tissue). Few are problematic.

Veteran & Ancient Trees

old trees give us the richest habitats

What are veteran & ancient trees?

Simply put, they are trees that are old for their species, of an advanced life-stage, have a wider than average girth and have special features.

All of the ecological features mentioned above are likely to be present in such trees, and the habitat value increases with age. Through the process of reiteration and retrenchment, ancient trees can live indefinitely, provided the environmental factors are favourable.

There are special protocols for assessing and maintaining veteran and ancient trees, especially if there is a lot of human interaction. Environmental stresses are the biggest factor that can cause death or decline; a full assessment and care regime should therefore be put in place.

Phoenix oak in West Sussex

A phoenix oak in West Sussex. This tree has fallen, yet regrown a new crown.

Ancient oak tree

The Queen Elizabeth 1 oak in Cowdray, West Sussex is over 1200 years old.

Ancient yew tree in West Sussex

This ancient yew is said to be the 12th oldest in England.

Survey of ghaf tree for ecology

An ancient sessile oak (Quercus petraea) with a large burr.

I would be very happy to discuss your project by phone, email or Zoom/Teams.

Site visits are charged as consultancy and cost reflects distance. Contact details are on Home page.

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