February 2019

How to manage veteran beech trees under a changing climate – a study in Burnham Beeches

In December 2018, A J Moffat & Associates were asked to review the evidence for current management of veteran beech trees at Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire, from an environmental perspective. The City of London Corporation, which sponsored the work, were particularly interested in how management operations such as ‘halo clearance’ might impact on soil and water relationships. The review also examined likely effects of atmospheric pollution and increasing drought risk on the veteran trees. The report, which can be downloaded HERE, concluded that halo clearance was compatible with enhancing moisture supply to the trees, but that wholesale clearance was likely to be detrimental to tree condition. It makes several recommendations to optimize veteran tree retention as the climate becomes warmer and drier in this part of Britain.