UKTC Archive

Re: VETERAN TREES Re: Tree Risk Management - Taking the defect out of it

Subject: Re: VETERAN TREES Re: Tree Risk Management - Taking the defect out of it
From: Ben Oates
Date: Feb 06 2020 11:33:42
Hi Tom,

Good to hear from you.

I mentioned in my previous email that it is all in the word which originates 
from the Latin vetus meaning old.

In my mind, it follows then, therefore, that a tree which is not vetus, old 
or reached full maturity is not a veteran in the true sense of the word 
unless one is anthopomorphasising the term for trees, which is what I 
disagree with, i.e. calling young trees with ecological features veterans.

The value of veteran trees is in part to do with the irreplaceable habitats 
that form over a long time. The younger the tree, the easier it may be to 
replace the habitat because it hasn't taken hundreds of years to form.

A non-mature tree with important ecological features might be a 'runt' or 
'sickly tree' and likely to merit the BS 5837:2012 category of C or U (low 
value). Whereas a veteran, in the true sense of the word, would likely be an 
A (high value) category because it truly has acquired great age and all those 
things that flow with it along the passage of time.

Young sickly, runts often have features similar to but not on a comparable 
scale with those found on the same species but of great age and those young 
runts might well be as important ecologically but on the balance of 
probabilities sickly trees are unlikely to achieve the great age of a true 
veteran.

To me, the most significant feature of trees is their ability to achieve 
great age and all that flows from it is what makes true veterans so precious.

The implication of naming young runts as veterans undermines the values we 
place on true veterans.

Based on my reasoning I do not make a distinction between veteran and 
ancient, to me the word means the same thing, old, and is regardless of 
habitat features.

I am open minded and not stuck in my ways but this is where I stand for the 
time being.

Best regards,

Ben Oates

________________________________
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
on behalf of Tom Thompson <admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk>
Sent: 06 February 2020 00:33
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Re: VETERAN TREES Re: Tree Risk Management - Taking the defect out 
of it

Ben

Are trees not classified as veterans due to their defects, sorry features,
so they do not have to be old.

Ancient trees are old.  I thought that this was the distinction.

Sincerely Tom

I S Tom Thompson (known as Tom) BSc (Hons) Arb, MSc eFor, MArborA

Principal Arboricultural Consultant
Arbor Cultural Ltd

36 Central Avenue, West Molesey, Surrey, KT8 2QZ

T   0333 XXX XXXX
M  07899 XXXXXX
E   Admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk
W  [X] www.arbor-cultural.co.uk<http://www.arbor-cultural.co.uk>




On Wed, 5 Feb 2020 at 17:36, Ben Oates <b.oates@xxxxxxxx.co.uk> wrote:

Kevin Slezacek wrote: "I'm seeing an increasing number of cases where
trees with simple storm damage are being classed as veterans and using this
to object to planning applications."


I have also experienced an LPA classing an early mature sweet chestnut
(less than 1m dbh) with woodpecker holes and die back, likely due to
on-site evidence of old root damage, as a veteran and invoking the NPPF.


Don't get me wrong, I love veteran trees.



I agree that a middle aged soldier or younger having seen active service
makes them a veteran but I do not agree with anthropomorphising the term
for trees, especially for the purposes of invoking the NPPF.



For a tree to be a veteran, in my mind's eye, it must have great age.



The term ‘veteran’, from the Latin vetus, means ‘old’.



So I say a veteran tree is one that has considerably outlived the typical
life expectancy of the species found in a similar environment regardless of
size and habitat potential etc.


Authoritative written guidance is helpful but should be backed up with
knowledge.

Ben Oates



________________________________
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
<uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
on behalf of Kevin Slezacek <KevinSlezacek@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.com>
Sent: 05 February 2020 16:33
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: RE: Tree Risk Management - Taking the defect out of it

Please lets not start introducing terms like early veteran or semi
ancient. I'm seeing an increasing number of cases where trees with simple
storm damage are being classed as veterans and using this to object to
planning applications. I appreciate fully the benefit of "true" veterans
and also understand how many mature trees can have certain characteristics
that may have benefit to other organisms but I think arbs know a proper
veteran when we see one and Id like to see some more distinct recognised
terms rather than woolly definitions. When NPPF specifically mentions
veterans (quite rightly) I don’t think it meant every mature tree with a
woodpecker hole or bit of deadwood! Semi Ancient - what would define that!

Kind regards,

Kevin Slezacek



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