Estimating tree crown size

There is a very good relationship between a tree’s stem diameter and its crown diameter. This can be used in many different ways by foresters, arboriculturists and landscape planners to plan and model tree growth and … Read More

£5500 raised for oak disease research

My 32 mile cycling adventure through London in March with 22 other Ride for Research riders, in aid of raising funds to support research into acute oak decline disease, accumulated a total of £5,500.  A cheque was presented recently to scientists from Forest Research. Russell Ball’s personal account of organising the event and taking part was… Read More

Ride for Research

I took part in the inaugural Ride for Research today; cycling 25 miles around London’s streets, visiting three schools along the way to plant trees with children and to raise money for tree research. We visited three London schools en route: two primary schools at Harrow and Islington, and a secondary school at Hampstead.  At… Read More

Walnut expedition – mission complete

I undertook an expedition to Kyrgyzstan in 1997 to collect walnut seeds from the wild walnut-fruit forests. Following our last day collecting walnut seeds in the mountains near the spectacular Sary Chalek lake (see post) we travelled back to the capital Bishkek via a three hour jeep journey, first through the mountains on dirt tracks… Read More

Nature vs Nurture in forestry

I spent over a decade as a forest scientist working to improve the genetic quality of various hardwood tree species.  To put it another way, to maniupate NATURE.  It became increasingly obvious to me that we must never ignore NURTURE.  We must work with both nature and nurture when creating and managing sustainable forests. The… Read More

A walnut tree’s best friend

My forestry research work took me to the USA and Italy looking for the best ways to grow walnut trees for timber.  Foresters in both countries pioneered the planting of nitrogen-fixing trees or shrubs with hardwood trees, where their ability to improve soil fertility for ‘hungry’ species, such as walnut, had proven very beneficial. The… Read More