Tree protection is needed now more than ever before. Large-scale developments can take place so quickly and often involve the removal of trees – sometimes by subterfuge. Our network of members brings cases to our attention and tree officers and planning departments are contacted.

 Sometimes the solution is simple, such as a horse proof fence round a lime tree to prevent ring barking. Sometimes it is much more complex when we may have to put our case at a planning inquiry. Tree Preservation Orders can protect trees and we support tree officers in placing new ones and following up infringements.

We can be eyes on the spot.

If trees have to be felled or are lost to disease we would encourage replanting with appropriate replacements.

We are also prepared to enter into national debates over policies for trees.

Trees For Dorset

This area of a rural lane bordered by trees would have been destroyed by the cable corridor from the Navitas Bay wind farm in Poole Bay. This scheme proposed a cable corridor 30 km long and 30 m wide that would have resulted in a huge number of trees being lost, almost half mature oaks. Naturally we objected to such destruction despite being in favour of renewable energy. Not only do we want the right trees in the right place but also the same for energy schemes.

Protecting trees. Never straightforward!

We get consulted several times each year about whether we can support saving a tree. Often we are contacted rather late in the day and it can become a rush to make a submission or decisions have already been taken. Sometimes it is a new and more complex problem and this becomes particularly so when other preservation orders are involved.

I was contacted earlier this year about an old (about 100 years) ginkgo in Chideock. In this case one of the two trunks of this tree was leaning on a wall that was joined to a listed building and therefore also benefited from the listed status. Ginkgo is of course an introduced tree (though it is threatened in its homeland) but this was a particularly old and large example. The tree was slightly displacing the capping stones of the wall. When I examined the tree and the wall I found that the upper layer of the “important and unique three tiered wall” was in fact a more recent modern brick layer that was being damaged but because it was joined to grade 2 listed building benefitted from its protected status. I wrote to the tree officer and listed building officer pointing out among other things that the damaged wall was in reality modern and tree a “Jurassic living fossil” was particularly interesting for its proximity to the Jurassic Coast.

As a result of representations by local councillors and others as well as Trees for Dorset the felling application was withdrawn and a proposal to remove the trunk damaging the wall and a reduction in the crown of the second trunk has been approved and a Tree Preservation Order has been put on it. At the moment tree continues to flourish intact and can be seen as you enter Chideock travelling from Bridport on the A35 just after the bridge.