Pests, diseases and climate change pose serious threats to our precious trees. Enlightened management of woods will help ensure their future health: planting strong seeds and saplings, selecting species suited to the site, keeping forests mixed in age and kind, regular thinning, combatting invasive plants, and controlling infections and pests at the earliest sign.
"It is vital we act now to manage our woods and trees so that they can adapt to the increased threat and severity of pests, disease and climate change. To ensure our trees and woods thrive into the future significant changes to conventional woodland management practices are required."
Simon Lloyd, CEO, Royal Forestry Society
"Our trees and woods face more threats today than ever before. From the globalisation of tree diseases to climate change, from the proliferation of deer to simple neglect, the list is long. To secure the future health and biodiversity of our woods, we need to act – now!"
Rob Penn, author and woodsman
"There are beautiful horse chestnut and newly planted silver birch in the park near where I live. As well as being life giving they are soothing and peaceful in a busy urban setting.
In Scotland tree planting has to compete with subsidies given to farmers for grazing sheep - which are in direct competition to tree planting. As a taxi driver in Edinburgh it is plain for me to see how trees make my city beautiful. All cities should manage all the trees in their boundaries as a forest to be managed and maintained and developed. So trees in cities could be grown commercially with a solid replanting programme and expansion plans."
Image: Trees For Cities
"We in our area of Livingston have a large park, Craigshill Almond Park. We have already planted about 500 trees with the help of Woodland Trust, the public love walks through the park and seeing all the different kinds of trees and the wildlife they attract. More trees need more wildlife. We hope to plant many more trees in the future."
"To me trees provide the heart beat of the earth. If it’s healthy then we all are healthy. There is nothing sadder than watching a tree deteriorate through disease and neglect, and nothing more uplifting that watching one grow and flourish over the years."
Image: Emma Aitken
"Trees are important to me for many reasons, the biggest being they are the filter system for the whole planet and without them there would be no us! Also, there is protection from the elements for many animals, big and small. They have been a major source of building materials for centuries, right down to young children building treehouses or just a tree camp. Without trees we would just be a desert. We need to look after our trees for now and the future, because without them there is no future."
Image: Matt Larsen-Daw
"We need to protect and increase the numbers of native trees to ensure our wildlife heritage and diversity. When I was younger I worked as a volunteer at Nower Wood in Surrey, helping with woodland management including coppicing areas where bluebells were abundant."
Image: Debbie Hookway
"Trees in UK are under more threats than ever before. Climate change, pests, but more importantly, a seeming lack of government protection. Living near Horsham, the area is constantly under threat of ever more redevelopment. We have already lost so many beautiful trees. There’s a continuing threat to woodland, but we must protect it for future generations. Trees play a vital part in the ecosystem, and therefore integral to our countryside and towns. In our so-called advanced society, it seems strange that we don’t have stronger protection for our woodlands."
Image: Durham Wildlife Trust
"As well as being a traditional part of our landscape, trees provide many important functions – they cleanse the air, turn CO2 back into oxygen and provide valuable habitat for birds, plants, fungi and microorganisms. In addition, by planting and managing a wide variety of trees, we could become much less dependent on imported timber. Further, by stabilising the ground they can cut down, even prevent, soil erosion and flooding."
Image: Matt Larsen-Daw