Best replacement tree species to mitigate the loss of ash in Britain

As the spread of ash dieback across Britain becomes noticeable, there is a peak in interest about the consequences of ash dieback, with landowners and conservationists seeking good advice about what tree species is best to plant to help nature recover. Here’s a simply summary for landowners, based of peer-reviewed research. Read More

Ash dieback is an environmental calamity that will cost Britain £15 billion

A research paper published today estimates that the cost of ash dieback in Britain will reach £15 billion. I was privileged to have supported lead author Louise Hill as an external supervisor, and to be a co-author of the paper. Read More

A trait-based approach for forest ecosystem management

One of my more recent co-authored research articles has been selected as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in The Applied Ecologist’s Blog . The paper, Maintaining ecosystem properties after loss of ash in Great Britain by Louise Hill et al, focusses on the importance of using plant functional traits to predict potential changes to an ecosystem, following the loss of a key species. Read More

The art and math of tree fractals

My writing about art and math in nature are always among my most popular posts, and I’ve meant to write about fractals for a while because they fascinate me. This time of year the bare branches of deciduous trees display their full beauty and fascinating growth patterns. Did you know that most trees have no… Read More

Native trees of Britain

There are 60 or more trees in Britain that are native, meaning tree species, subspecies or hybrids that have established themselves without the hand of man. Yet only 35 are widespread meaning that the palette is actually quite limited, particularly when the full range of benefits from woodlands are considered, together with threats from environmental change. Read More

Rethinking the history of common walnut (Juglans regia L.) in Europe: its origins and human interactions

I’ve recently co-authored this scientific paper which reveals the history of common walnut in Europe. Abstract Common walnut (Juglans regia L) is an economically important species cultivated worldwide for its high-quality wood and nuts. It is generally accepted that after the last glaciation J. regia survived and grew in almost completely isolated stands in Asia, and… Read More