Leading Arboricultural Consultancy, Treework Environmental Practice and Laverstoke Park Laboratories have launched a partnership called Soil-is-Key with the aim of improving the health of trees through deeper understanding of the soil that they depend on.
Soil-is-Key brings a holistic soil approach to the tree world. With Laverstoke's experience and focus on complete soil health and Treeworks' longstanding engagement with conservation arboriculture, this collaboration aims to deliver and share an accessible way of studying the rooting environment, exploring ways of improving soil health using organic amendments that support the below ground ecosystem.
Neville Fay, Principal Consultant at Treework Environmental Practice comments: "In arboriculture, we spend so much time looking up and so little time looking down, even when searching out pathogens. We know a little about fungus-root mutual relationships, but have less knowledge when it comes to the interrelated world of soil organisms (fungal, bacterial, protozoan, worms etc.) and the food network they all contribute to below ground, that is so fundamental to the tree's healthy existence. Our Soil-is-Key partnership gives us the opportunity to provide expertise in this vital aspect of tree health."
Simon Parfey of Laverstoke Park Laboratories adds: "Trees are so important to many different ecosystems that it simply makes sense to include the one beneath our feet when looking for answers relating to tree health. Soil-is-Key combines Laverstoke Park Laboratory's practical experiences based on applied scientific knowledge together with Treework Environmental Practice's expertise as leading tree specialists . The objective of the alliance is simple: to learn and teach from practical knowledge, and develop robust and positive action for the better management of our trees - which fundamentally includes their soil. It is unfortunate that so many modern day environmental issues can be traced back to depleted humic layer and a lack of fertility in soils"
The Soil-is-Key partnership is currently operating a number of study projects that are assessing and treating mature and veteran trees, affected by disease and other threats.
These include oak trees affected by Acute Oak Decline (AOD) and plane trees affected by Massaria Disease of Plane (MDP).