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Historic Tree Collections Management: A new vision for old trees :

Laurie Metzger Longwood Graduate Fellow Class of 2014 Historic Tree Collections Management: A new vision for old trees Richmond Park, England

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To discover the existing management plans To gather management philosophies and techniques To generate recommendations for the creation of broad reaching, creative management plans for historic tree collections, utilizing national and international best practices. Objective: Greenwich Park, London, England

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One broad survey (251 respondents) One specific survey (89 respondents) 3 International case studies Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew The Royal Parks Bernried Oak Park 3 North American case studies Longwood Gardens Vizcaya Estate & Gardens NYC Parks and Recreation Industry Standards Living and Non-living collections policies Methodology Vizcaya Estate and Gardens, Miami, Florida

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The Ancient Tree Forum published 8 guides and 1 handbook ALL written specifically for the management of ancient and aging trees And yet, 80% of respondents had not heard of the Ancient T ree F orum or its publications resources

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Are management plans Necessary? 85% of institutions report having historic trees 66% of those do not utilize a management plan 90% reported: The collection would benefit from management plan 34 % do utilize management plans Plans generally include: a tree assessment a tree risk assessment maintenance schedule Nearly 50% of maintenance schedules are only adhered to when resources are available “ We have practical management plans for historic trees, but no long term collections policy.” Botanic Garden Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Recommendation : Determine the purpose of the historic and aging tree collection.

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Ancient and Veteran : Trees that are a significant age for the species, maybe a host for biodiversity. Historic and Heritage : Trees of special cultural or historical interest, regardless of age *Champion, Witness, Notable, Giant and Great are all terms or names that can be applied to individual trees . Recommendation: Adopt terminology that is consistent and widely accepted. “Age alone is not enough to be termed a heritage tree.” -Tony Kirkham, RBG Kew Nomenclature

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STORYTELLING “Champion status helps us tell the story of the great trees and make them accessible.”-Matthew Stephens, NYC Parks 100% of respondents indicated that historic trees should be labeled 75% indicated that there is no designating signage for the historic trees at their institutions Greatest benefit of historic trees: Understanding of place Most valuable aspect of historic trees: “ significance of place.” Most respondents used comments box to write personal stories of trees Pagoda Tree , RBG Kew

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Courtesy of Neville Fay practical techniques specific to historic trees Coronet cuts…….. Creative mulching and signage……… Halo Mowing……………………………….. Retrenchment Pruning……………….

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Creative fencing and signage

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Biodiversity “We see ourselves as stewards of an historic, yet evolving landscape.” –The Royal Parks “The arboricultural paradigm began shifting …to considering trees as ecosystems operating within ecosystems, as keystone species for dependent wildlife .” -Neville Fay “Trees come from nature and woodlands, trees eat themselves, producing their own organic matter, drop leaves, branches, fruit. The micro organisms and fungi break that down and give it back to the tree.” -Tony Kirkham , RBG, Kew

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19% would remove a tree purely based on aesthetics Aesthetics The Crown Estate, Windsor The Royal Parks Pawiak Prison Warsaw, Poland Recommendation: Consider benefits and characteristics specific to aging trees when making decisions about the lifespan of the tree, and the way it is presented.

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Trees as art at Ivanacker Oak Park Tanzlinder , Effeltrich , Germany An opportunity to Spark an international conversation The Royal Parks, Greenwich

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QUESTIONS? The Emancipation Oak Hampton, Virginia

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