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Welcome to The Green Man Arboricultural Consultancy

This website supports the consultancy business based in North Wales and which operates throughout the United Kingdom providing a wide range of arboricultural services including: home buyers tree reports, tree condition reports, development site surveys and reports, woodland assessment and management plans and general advice relating to trees.

For further information or to discuss your requirements please contact us on: 01978 821 851/ 07981 912 162 or via

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


santa marĂ­a del tule

I wanted to say thank you to the folk who voted on the poll. I will continue the tree biology posts and also cover more P & D and related ecology. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, this is possibly the biggest tree in the world! It has a 10m stem diameter!The Tule Tree, found in Mexico.

Image Credit: nateinmexico

Saturday, 23 February 2008

An Introduction to Tree Biology: Roots

I find trees amazing. I find all plant life pretty amazing, but trees additionally impress me because they are more complex in order to maintain and eventually dispose of their stature.

I have received a vote on the poll asking for more information on tree biology and am therefore going to do an introduction to trees: their parts and functions.

We begin with tree roots.

(Image Credit: The Arbor Centre)To start I would like to dispel a common myth regarding tree roots. Actually a few myths: conifer tree roots are no more shallow than broadleaf tree roots, a trees’ root system is not a mirror of its’ crown and not all trees have or can maintain a tap root, due to the conditions below ground.

Early morning mist on an old Dying Tree with very matted roots.

(Image Credit: waterloo100)There are several different types of tree root systems however the development of trees’ roots, the same as the development of the tree above ground, is not only driven by its’ genetics but by its’ environmental stimulus; how favourable its’ surroundings above and below ground are.

Tree root systems generally consist of anchorage roots, the larger roots that travel downwards however not usually in excess of 3m, and feeder roots, the finer string like mass of roots that are predominantly found within the top 60cm of the soil where they can successfully access water and nutrients, in an aerobic environment (i.e. with oxygen).

Tree roots have three main functions: they provide water and nutrients via the feeder roots, they provide anchorage therefore aiding stability, and they are used to store food stocks generated during photosynthesis.

Tree root systems are generally mature before the tree and there is a direct relationship between the developed root system and the size and stature of the tree. It is a communication that determines the trees potential if left to natural development.

Loss of or damage to root systems once a tree has begun to mature or reached maturity can be disastrous, and symptoms of root damage are most commonly the development of deadwood, often directly above the area of root damage.

The bottom line with trees, like the rest of nature they are designed to adapt. This tree, either layed as part of a hedge and neglected or failed though damage or disease, appears to have successfully layered. It is expected that the stem on the ground has developed a root system and at some point if required the connection with the main plant could be severed to leave a new specimen.

Glossary of Terms

My good friend Tom Wigley suggested that I do a post of tree terms which I thought was a very good idea. There are many however, a lot of tree terms have lengthy explanations and I am not sure what will be of interest.

I therefore thought I would ask for some feedback from anyone who reads here and is interested in a particular aspect of arboriculture or tree biology.

If there is anything you wish to know please ask and I will be happy to post about it. In the meantime I will try and introduce as many new terms as I can within each post without boring you!

I have posted a poll with different aspects of arboriculture so you may choose what you would like me to cover there if there is a category listed that interests you. If not please feel free to leave me a comment.

There is no connection between this post and the picture. We had the most beautiful sunrise here a few days ago and I wanted to share this image.

Ash Update

I saw an ash tree yesterday with an old branch tear wound that had begun to develop wound wood, therefore occluding or sealing the wound, that looked very similar to the ash puzzler posted previously. I am even more convinced that this is the explanation but will feedback comments from the forum when I have submitted the image.

King Alfreds' Cakes AKA Crampballs

This is one of my favourite fungi. Its' botanical name is Daldinia concentrica, it is a wood degrading fungi that favours ash as a host, and deadwood for its' food source.

This fungus found on a live tree will be growing on deadwood or dysfunctional tissue and indicates the presence of a primary pathogen, or circumstances that have already had a detrimental affect on the tree. The tree is therefore under stress.

Yesterday I visited woodland where many ash trees were felled 2-3 years ago due to poor condition. The woodland is small and situated adjacent to public highway, footpaths and a nursing home, so dealing with hazards was a priority of management.

Most of the ash trees removed appear to have been felled due to structural flaws or infection by the fungus Inonotus hispidus, Ash Heart Rot. (Despite the common name this fungus can be found on other tree species. It is also known as Walnut Heart Rot and Shaggy Bracket.)

The larger sections of the main stem and primary limbs (Primary Limbs - The main structural branches of a tree joined directly to the main stem.)have been sectioned and kept on site as habitat piles and to avoid unnecessary disturbance into a woodland populated densely by badgers.

Since being felled the ash wood has been devoured by Daldinia concentrica and I got many wonderful photos of it old and new.

This fungus releases its spores through tiny holes in the surface. It is termed an ascomycetes as it throws its spores out where as many other fungus, mushrooms and bracket fungi, drop their spores out from the underside of the fruit, termed basidiomycetes.

The more bronzed fruiting bodies are older and becoming dysfunctional, new fruiting bodies will replace them and are black.

Sunday, 17 February 2008


Buttress Exposed

An Ash Puzzler

This one is a bit of a puzzler. This is an ash tree and it appears that an old pruning wound or branch stub has been partially occluded and then severely weathered, although it could be a mutation of the cells, possibly stimulated by bacteria or fungus.

I have never seen anything exactly like this before but have seen similar effects on exposed wood at branch stubs. I am going to put it to the UK Treecare Forum for comment and will let you know what they come up with!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Bats & Trees

Awareness and consideration of ecology is required for effective tree management, particularly in case of bats. Here are 6 facts about bats.

Fact 1:
There are 17 species of bat native to the United Kingdom and they all rely on trees for either roost sites or food sources.

Fact 2:
The most common bat species in the UK are the Pipistrelle spp. You can fit 100 Pipistrelle bats into a 1 pint milk bottle (calculated via mathematical formula not empirical research!)

Mexican Free-tailed Bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) inside bridge crevice - 1
Fact 3:
Contrary to common belief bats are not blind; they actually have very good eyesight.

Fact 4:
All bats and bat roosts are protected by law. Disturbance of a bat or bat roost carries a fine of £5000 per bat and could incur a 6 month prison sentence.

Bat cave from Khao Yai Thailand.

Fact 5:
Bats in the UK can live for up to 60 years, and they make up 30% of Britain’s mammal population.

Two bats on hummingbird feeder

Fact 6:
Bats are protected due to their serious decline in recent years, attributed predominantly to a loss of their habitat.

Watch live images from inside a roost of common pipistrelle bats at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall

Image Credits: bflyguys , Isaraguide , Deangeliaz and Citress respectively.

Bat and monkey chilling together

Monday, 4 February 2008

The Weeping Tree

My last post pictured the view from within the canopy of a Weeping Ash, Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' for which I received a comment from Tom Wigley.....or Old Wom Tigley (Tom your identity appearing as Wom Tigley really made me do a double take and question my powers of observation!).

It made me think about my picture and wish I'd taken another snap from the outside as you cannot appreciate it's unique weeping habit from this view-port. I am going back to this site soon and will take another picture!

In the meantime I found this awesome picture of a Weeping Beech, posted at a photo share site I have registered with. Image Credit: MD72 at webshots.

Unfortunately there were no Weeping Ash photos but I will remedy that in the Spring, for now I give you Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula'.

weeping european beech 2

And this picture of a smaller tree from a distance: Image Credit Sehauer at Webshots

European Weeping Beech


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