Book Recommended To Help Homeowners

Here’s a great book designed to educate homeowners about their trees and shrubs.

I like this book because it gives the homeowner specific information providing a comprehensive guide to selecting, planting and maintaining their trees and shrubs. It explains in simple language what you need to know about trees and shrubs to provide the best quality and performance.

The book is called Trees, Owners Workshop Manual by Kenton Rogers and Tony Kirkham. 

Here’s an exerpt from the book:

WHY A MANUAL FOR TREES?

This book is for people who already own trees or who are thinking of planting one.  It is also a manual for enthusiasts, those people who appreciate trees in the wider environment and who want to understand more about what trees do.

For professionals engaged in managing and maintaining trees there already exists a vast array of technical books and manuals.  However, there is nothing practical written for the homeowner, despite around 60-70% of all trees in our towns and cities being in private ownership.

We felt that this needed addressing.  Your tree may be important to you, but it is also part of a greater whole, what some call the ‘urban forest’: the collection of trees, shrubs, grass and plants in and around human settlements.  Whether our tree is already established or yet to be planted, it could be providing pleasure (or pain) to man different people, for the next 100, 200, 300 years or more.

So, that given, it’s probably important to understand a bit more about what owning a tree really means.  Which species of tree is best for your home and garden?  Hoe should you look after it to get the most out of it?  How and where do you get impartial advice?

These are just some of the questions we will be answering in this book.  The manual guides the reader through selecting the right tree for the right place, planting, and how to establish, care for, prune and maintain your tree.   The manual also serves as an introduction to the care and growing of trees (the science of arboriculture).  Arboriculture is a vast technical subject and so references for further in-depth reading and professional advice are also provided.

We hope you find this manual useful and that your grandchildren and future communities will benefit for years to come from the trees you may be planting and nurturing now.

-Kenton Rogers and Tony Kirkham

TREE MANUAL

INTRODUCTION

As some of the largest and longest-living organisms on our planet, trees are often seen as particularly strong, resilient life forms.  Unfortunately, this perception can lead to them being inadvertently ignored and neglected, left to get on with it, so to speak.

Despite generally being fairly robust, trees can also be rather vulnerable.  They are, in the main, gregarious forest organisms growing in forest conditions.  When they are taken out of this context, for example when they are grown as individual specimens in our gardens, streets, cemeteries and parks, they are often subject to stresses that affect their health and performance.  This stress can be as a direct result of growing in an altered environment, but it is mainly due to inappropriate species choice, poor planting, lack of good soil for rooting and inadequate care and maintenance.

As a consequence of stress, trees will be much more prone to the effects of other pests and diseases, which will in turn lead to even further decline and poor performance. 

In the majority of cases all this can easily be avoided.  Appropriate species selection, preparation, planting, care and maintenance are all covered in this manual.  Following the advice given here will contribute to a healthier tree that will require less maintenance (and therefore cost less) and provide a greater benefit for a longer period of time.

Trees contribute directly and indirectly to creating liveable places and healthy communities .  These benefits are greatly enhanced in our towns, cities and villages, because that’s where most people live.

We inhabit an increasingly urbanized society and this rapid shift from rural living is unprecedented in human history.  In 2014, around 54% of the world’s population were living in towns and cities, and this number is projected to increase to nearly 70% by 2050.  Already, in the UK, over 90% of the population lives in urban areas.

It’s also in our urban areas where (like trees) people are generally under greater stress. In evolutionary terms the urban realm is a relatively new environment.  Urban living is often found to be a major contributory factor for a whole range of modern health and well-being problems.  In addition, the urban setting presents a range of environmental challenges for localized storm water flooding to increased urban temperatures and poor air quality.

Finally, nearly two-thirds of the urban area that is predicted to exist by the year 2050 is yet to be built, so it is vital that we take the opportunity to locate and maintain healthy trees that will significantly contribute to making better places to live, work and play.

How do trees do this? Read on… 

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