Silvology defined

Silvology: redefining the biological science for the study of forests With co-author Jens Peter Skovsgaard I propose a formal definition for a term that describes the scientific study of forests and woods: silvology.   In contrast to other disciplines no terminology has developed to distinguish the practice of silviculture from its scientific counterpart. For example,… Read More

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

silva, sylva, silvan, sylvan, Silvanus, silviculture …

On my homepage I write that I aim to celebrate the ” silvan” world: here’s an etymology. Silva or sylva is a Latin word meaning ‘wood or forest’, with silvan or sylvan meaning ‘of the wood or forest’. In forestry we use the word silviculture, meaning literally culture of forests. Foresters are sometimes called silviculturists.… Read More

A dendro-etymological dilemma

I’m a forester.  That’s a simple description of my profession without much room for misunderstanding – or so you’d think.  Therein lies an etymological dilemma for me and my fellow tree professionals. As a forester I practice forestry, which is the management of forests.  In the public mind the term ‘forester’ is often instantly related… Read More

Pruning young trees

Young forest trees often require some form of ‘formative’ shaping or pruning during the first 5-10 years after planting.  I co-wrote a practical guide on this subject for Woodland Heritage, and created the artwork that I’ve reproduced here.     Young trees may require pruning for a variety of reasons, including damage from perching or… Read More