UKTC Archive

RE: Mortality rates

Subject: RE: Mortality rates
From: Birtles, Jerry
Date: Dec 18 2003 09:37:41
It was kind of Edmund to remember our good years - last year we only managed
96% thriving after one year. We don't specifically monitor planting after
the first year as it then falls into the regular inspection cycle. But the
point is that we don't accept them as thriving unless we are satisfied they
are well on their way. Because our establishment rate is a Council
performance target we don't include vandalism losses - as we have no control
over it - and its a moveable feast anyway. It's not as widespread as most
people seem to think and runs at between 2% and 5%. Trees on main roads on
the run between popular pubs and station/bus route seem to be the ones that
cop it.

Our contract is written such that after year one, if a tree is dead, the
contractor does not get paid the planting cost, nor the maintenance cost,
and is docked the cost of the tree. We used to have it that the contractor
had to replant and maintain a new tree at his expense - but it got too
complicated. In the years when we were doing 1500+ street trees, even minor
losses meant the contract might not get signed off for three or more years. 

The true secret though is to have guys on site who care about what they are
doing. There's a difference between digging a hole and shoving a tree in it,
and planting a tree for establishment. Its only a fine line but it makes all
the difference.

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