New standard to help trees reach maturity is published

BSI, the business standards company, has developed BS 8545 Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape – Recommendations, to help safeguard infant trees and to increase their longevity. Currently a large number of trees in the urban environment are dying too soon after planting, and, according to the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Trees in Towns II Report, the loss rate stands at 25%.

To combat this problem and also to address the fact that, to date, there has been a lack of cohesive standards covering tree specification and transplanting, the new standard was developed. BS 8545 offers a sound understanding of good practice and is a comprehensive and up-to-date information resource. It enables the user to carry out quality decision-making in a range of different situations and offers guidance on:

  • Design and strategic intentions
  • Individual site constraints and requirements
  • Nursery availability and quality of tree stock
  • Budget size and maintenance schedules

Anthony Burd, Head of Market Development for Construction at BSI, said: “BS 8545 is a welcome tool for people involved in the processes of resourcing, producing, planting and managing young trees. This not only impacts on private spaces but our open spaces and highways too –  as it can help shape landscape architecture and infrastructure development in general.”

BS 8545 was developed using a collaborative, consensus-based approach with experts from the public and private sector and with extensive experience in managing tree populations.

The standard is a clear, 3-part sequential document. The first part (recommendations only) comprises seven sections outlined in order of use:

  • Policy and strategy
  • Site evaluation and constraints
  • Species selection
  • Nursery production
  • Despatch, transportation and storage
  • Planting
  • Post-planting and maintenance

Informative or explanatory information is found in the second part of the standard, which consists of a series of annexes arranged under the same section headings as in the first part. The third part of the standard contains a comprehensive reading list of books and research papers which ‘inform the standard’.

Keith Sacre, lead author of BS 8545, said: “The beauty of a standard such as BS 8545 is that it describes a method of planting for young trees that will allow them to reach their full potential and to deliver the benefits that they were planted for in the first place. The standard can help do this logically and systematically without excessive or abnormal input from management.”