Arboriculture - (15 credits)

Trees are some of the most noticeable and important elements of any landscape, and are the biggest plants that horticulturists are responsible for the care of. They are also some of the longest living of all plants and their size, longevity imbues them with a cultural and historic importance that is unique within both natural and landscape settings. Many trees however, are threatened, by climatic changes, changes to their setting as urban development continues, and perhaps most immediately by the spread of new and sometimes catastrophic pests and diseases. Managing trees then, especially given the demands of modern urban environments can prove challenging. It is not only the physical pressures of city life that need controlling however, as for the modern arboriculturist, managing the ‘politics of trees’ can be almost as demanding as keeping them alive and healthy. In this module then, students are introduced to the most fundamentally important aspects of tree care and maintenance with particular emphasis placed upon the legal, cultural and social responsibilities that this involves. Students learn how to recognize tree species and to assess the health and wellbeing of trees growing in a variety of landscape settings. The module emphasizes the importance of a ‘whole life strategy’ approach, considering the management requirements from planting through to the death or removal of a tree in a landscape situation. The importance of accurate data collection is central to this study, as is an understanding of how this can be used to develop best practices in the current and future management of trees. The legal framework that relates to tree care is considered throughout the module, as is health and safety relating to both the management and ownership of trees.