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Saving older trees as a home for wildlife



Curo is using a special pruning method to save older trees so that they can be kept as habitats for wildlife.

Joe Robson, senior arborculturalist at Curo, looks after 7,000 trees across our estates.

“We use a method called ‘tree veteranizing’ to keep the ecological benefits of the tree while managing the risk it poses,” said Joe. “Branches are cut to make the tree look as if it has been damaged in a storm.”

Standing decaying deadwood is better for the environment than tree felling as tree trunks are unique ecosystems for creatures such as beetles, woodpeckers and birds of prey.

“It can take 14 years for a new tree to repay the carbon debt of growing and planting it,” said Joe. “Veteranizing a tree means we can preserve the environmental benefits of older trees which have to be felled.”

Trees may need to be veteranized if they have ash dieback – a disease affecting ash trees across the UK ­– and cannot be saved through tree surgery. 

Curo is committed to maintaining and increasing communal tree cover across our estate. We recognise the significance of our trees and understand the social, environmental and financial benefits they provide. Curo will not only replace every felled tree located on communal land, but also plant additional trees to add to our stock.

Trees are vital for our communities as they enhance the environment, storing carbon to combat climate change, while providing habitats for insects, animals and birds. They act as a natural air filter, trapping air pollution in their leaves and bark. Plus, being around nature has proven mental health benefits for people, reducing stress and promoting wellbeing.

To learn more about veteran trees go to the Ancient Tree Forum’s website.

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