New Resources

Please see below for the latest resources of interest to Tree Wardens and Tree Warden Coordinators, clicking on the green links will take you to the relevant section.

Trees and public safety
New guide to tree species
Help with tree identification
Download ForestXplorer app
Latest figures on UK woodland
Report shows how trees save money
Yews in loving detail

Trees and public safety

New guidance is being published on trees and public safety in the UK. This comprehensive, practical guidance has been developed by the National Tree Safety Group to support the work of all those involved in tree management, whether in streets, parks, public open spaces, hotels, farms, private estates, woodland, commercial forests or private gardens.

The document also gives advice on understanding and managing the risks, and what is required legally for tree owners to fulfil their duty of care. The NTSG believes that the evaluation of what is reasonable should be based upon a balance between benefit and risk and that this evaluation can be undertaken only in a local context.

The guidance reflects the NTSG’s five key principles that:
•    trees provide a wide variety of benefits to society
•    trees are living organisms that naturally lose branches or fall
•    the overall risk to human safety is extremely low
•    tree owners have a legal duty of care
•    tree owners should take a balanced and proportionate approach to tree safety management.

Printed copies of the main document, Common sense risk management of trees, £19.99 plus p&p, (ISBN: 978-0-85538-840-9, Forestry Commission stock code FCMS024) will be available to order online from Forestry Commission Publications ( It will also be downloadable from the website.

Two supplementary publications – a leaflet for householders and a summary document for estates and smallholdings –  will be available free (p&p will be charged for larger orders only).

• For further information please contact:
Forestry Commission Publications, 231 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 7AT, tel: 0131 334 0303,
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


New guide to tree species

The main characteristics of more than 60 tree species have been published online by Forest Research. These are species that are either widely grown in British forests or which could play an increasing role in the future.

Published on the Forest Research website under the heading “Tree species and provenance”, the information allows the user to select tree species by either their common or botanical Latin names, and could help forest managers to develop forest management and planting plans.
Each entry offers a comprehensive overview of the species’ native range, preferred choice of provenance, site requirements, the pests and pathogens that affect them, and their uses.

“Factors such as the changing British climate and the increasing threat from exotic pests and diseases make the selection of the right species for the site more important than ever,” says Dr James Pendlebury, chief executive officer of Forest Research, the research arm of Tree Council member the Forestry Commission. “The information in these web pages should be a valuable aid to the selection process.”

The information is available at and will be further developed over time.
Information is also available at

Help with tree identification

There’s help for new Tree Wardens keen to get up to speed with tree identification. iSpot is a website ( aimed at helping anyone identify anything in nature.

Once someone has registered on the site, they can add an observation and suggest an identification or see if anyone else can identify the tree for them.

Tree Wardens can also help others by adding an identification to an existing observation on the website.

Download ForestXplorer app

Tree identification is also a feature of a new iPhone app, launched by Forestry Commission England. The free app – which helps find out information about Forestry Commission Forest Parks – includes a photo gallery, UK common tree identifier and computer generated tree illustrations. Users can identify a tree using its bark, seed or leaf within just a few clicks.

ForestXplorer has information about the top 37 Forestry Commission sites across England. Visitors can search for sites by event or activity, find out about opening times, things to do, directions and contact details, and download pdf trail maps via GPS so that the app can still be used when out of phone signal range.

The app was funded by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills' Public Sector Research Exploitation Fund and Forest Research. It is available to download from iTunes.

• Find out more at or download the app from iTunes -

Latest figures on UK woodland

New figures on the amount of woodland in the UK have been published by the Forestry Commission. Provisional statistics for the year to March 2011 are that:
•    the area of woodland in the UK was 3.08 million hectares – 13 per cent of the UK’s total land area (10 per cent in England, 15 per cent in Wales, 18 per cent in Scotland and 6 per cent in Northern Ireland)
•    of the total UK woodland area, 870,000 hectares are owned or managed by the Forestry Commission (in Great Britain) or the Forest Service (in Northern Ireland)
•    the total area of certified woodland in the UK was 1.33 million hectares, including all Forestry Commission and Forest Service woodland. Overall, 43 per cent of UK woodland area is certified (i.e. its management has been verified as sustainable and environmentally sound by an independent auditor as an assurance to buyers of forest products that the products come from well managed forests)
•    9,000 hectares of new woodland were created in the UK in 2010-11, mostly with broadleaved species
•    14,000 hectares of woodland were restocked in the UK in 2010-11, mostly with conifer trees. 

These statistics will next be updated in September 2011, with final results for the year to March 2011. Full details are available at

Report shows how trees save money

A new report shows how local authorities can save money by planting trees. Trees or Turf?, written by Land Use Consultants for Tree Council member the Woodland Trust, can be downloaded at

It updates the cost comparisons in Urban Woodland and Grassland, Comparative Management Costs produced by the National Urban Forestry Unit in 1998, using the same nine regimes. It also looks into other pluses of planting trees by summarising information and research into benefits such as air quality, shelter and shade, flood mitigation, biodiversity, landscape improvement, stimulation of inward investment and providing a focus for community action.

Tree Wardens may therefore find the report useful when making the case for trees.

Yews in loving detail

There have been many books published on yews, but this one is the most comprehensive yet. It combines an easy-to-read yet scholarly review of the natural history and culture of yews, with beautiful pictures, drawings and illustrations.

The book, now reprinted as a paperback, is packed with information and each page reveals some new aspect of the amazing natural and cultural history of the species.

It is perhaps best described using the quote on the front cover: “This book is a work of art and a labour of love” – Professor Ronald Hutton.

Yew – A History, by Fred Hargeneder,
The History Press – ISBN 978-0-7524-5945-5, paperback, £20