What is a Tree Manager and what are his skills?
What is a Tree Manager and what are his skills?
A Tree Manager takes care of individual trees and larger tree stocks such as in Urban Forestry. His tasks include research, analysis and processing of the collected data, as well as advice and management.
In addition, tackling it in a structured manner includes: management of trees, their growth site design and the well-organized management of the green services, their executors and arborists, also part of the core task of a Tree Manager.
A Tree Manager often has, in addition to his practical, executive experience advisory tree care, therefore a wide range of skills. Such as communication skills, organizational talent and a wide range of knowledge about:
- anatomy and morphology of trees,
- physiology of trees,
- soil food web and the importance of fungi,
- soil science (abiotic and biotic) and habitat research,
- root research,
- crown architecture and ARCHI,
- inventory techniques and data processing with GIS system,
- inventory methodology,
- growth site design, both above ground and underground,
- site improvement or growth site improvement,
- selection and calculation of underground growth site facilities,
- recognition of diseases and pests and pest control,
- tree management on a micro and macro scale,
- urban forestry and ecosystem services,
- the drawing up a tree plan,
- making BEAs (Tree Effects Analysis),
- tree protection during works, analysis, preparation and implementation,
- drawing up expertise reports. Both in the context of solving problems in a solution-oriented manner and providing legal assistance in legal cases,
- valuation of trees and damage cases,
- drawing up specifications for tree works,
- inspection of planting material (plant quality),
- managing complex tree works at construction sites,
- VTA control and inspection of trees,
- crown anchorages, root ball anchorages and tree dynamics,
- planting and transplanting trees,
- pruning, types of pruning during all life stages,
- felling, dismantling and capturing,
- management of veteran trees,
- site organization and signaling,
- safety at different levels, just like when working along the road,
- species knowledge and their application,
- SB250 (Standard Cutlery 250).
Below we will discuss some of these knowledge points in more detail.
Above all, the Tree Manager has a very good overview of the total picture tree management. From a tree-technical, organizational and budgetary point of view. He knows how and with which tools he can and should set the right priorities, based on the intended long-term goal.
Urban forestry or urban forestry translated from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Urban_forestry is:
“The care and management of individual trees and tree populations in urban environments with the aim of improving the urban environment. Urban forestry involves both planning and management, including the planning of care and maintenance work on the urban forest.
Urban forestry advocates the role of trees as a crucial part of urban infrastructure. Urban arborists plant and maintain trees, support the conservation of trees and forests, conduct research and promote the many benefits that trees provide. Urban forestry is practiced by municipal and commercial arborists, municipal and utility foresters, environmental policy makers, urban planners, consultants, educators, researchers and activists.”
 Caves, R. W. (2004). Encyclopedia of the City. Routledge. p. 695. ISBN 978 – 0415862875.
Urban Forestry focuses on the urban forest management with the aim of improving the ecosystem services of this urban forest. It's not the same as tree care. Urban forestry goes beyond just managing individual trees, it considers the entire picture at the urban level.
(quote course Urban forestry I – 'living environment' ecosystem services – responsible: ir. Bregt Roobroeck – Biotechnology
Bachelor in Agro- and Biotechnology – Academic year: 2021 – 2022):
The Tree Manager is the person who has all these skills to properly manage the Urban Forest, together with the associated ecosystem services.
Urban greenery and the city as a forest and forests in the city (both are possible) are becoming increasingly important. This is to provide an answer to the many challenges that a city faces with current climate change. And in this way, with the benefit of the ecosystem services that trees provide, to make the city more livable for people and animals.
Ecosystem services of trees include:
- providing shade and protection against the heat island effect,
- provides cooling to the environment (this is not the same as shade provided by the tree) by evaporation of water through the leaves, which lowers the ambient temperature,
- providing a place for more social contact (bench near monumental tree),
- provide habitat for insects, birds and other animals,
- provide protection against flooding through the natural water collection in the growing area of the trees,
- improving (purifying) air quality and water quality,
- aesthetic values and experience,
- and many other benefits for people and animals.
One of the challenges is that cities heat up more than the countryside.
In a city or in the village center it is often warmer in the summer than in the countryside. This makes a difference of several degrees Celsius. In the summer this causes heat stress more quickly among residents.
The city is warmer because there is more heat radiation from buildings and roads. But there are also more heat producers such as vehicles, trains and metros and air conditioning systems. And often less cooling elements such as water features or trees.
By providing more trees in the most suitable places and ensuring that they can fully develop into their natural final appearance, they provide a large “canopy cover” or crown projection. The result is that there is more shade and the perceived temperature locally drops to sometimes as much as 15° C.
A tree not only provides shade under its canopy, but the leaves of a tree also evaporate a lot of water. And it is precisely the evaporation of water that extracts heat from the environment. In addition to the shade, this is a second element that provides cooling.
The task of the Tree Manager is, for example, to provide input when redesigning a street or district in the city to ensure that the existing important trees are maximally preserved. And that with it planting new trees, these can grow into full-fledged trees. So that the trees provide maximum ecosystem services, for the benefit of society. As an example: in regions or neighborhoods where there are many heat complaints from residents, maximum use can be made of a larger “canopy cover”.
Another challenge in cities is flooding due to the extensive presence of pavements.
This creates water runoff during heavy rain. The water cannot soak into the soil and runs into the sewer in large quantities. Who often cannot cope with this in stormy weather. This causes flooding of streets, neighborhoods or entire areas.
By designing the growing areas of trees in such a way that, in addition to a suitable rootable soil volume to allow the trees to develop to their natural final appearance, there is also the possibility of absorbing storm water, several goals are served together. Namely, sufficient space for root penetration and prevention of water runoff in heavy rain or storms, thus avoiding flooding.
The Tree Manager has knowledge about the possible technical solutions for such (underground) growth site facilities and which system is the best choice for which situation. Also budgetary, so that there is maximum return on the choice.
Tree management at urban level. The tree manager takes a structured approach
Individually tree management is very different from urban tree management or the management of larger groups. Managing larger groups of trees that are more widely distributed over a larger area is more difficult and complex.
When managing larger groups of trees, one must therefore proceed in a structured and well-considered manner. After thorough consultation with government services or private clients, discussing the possibilities, expectations and objectives, an inventory is often started. To gain insight into what is available on the site.
When this data is available, an important, but often large, task has been accomplished and one can begin to determine where the greatest needs exist. This is always safety for the environment. Then come the other priorities.
Since inventorying is a very large job, and the more parameters are inventoried from each tree, the larger the task and time commitment becomes. Here too, good consultation between the tree manager and the government or client involved is necessary to compile a maximum usable dataset with a minimum of resources. So that it tree management subsequently yields maximum returns.