North England Regional Group: Tree Establishment in the Urban Forest

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Beyond the Targets – Getting Tree Planting Right

Planting trees is easy, but we need the trees to survive. This Institute of Chartered Foresters North England Region online conference will present the latest scientific research on best practice and advice on the best tree-establishment techniques, community involvement and planning policy. The line up of arboricultural experts will provide inspiring advice and guidance on ways to grow our urban forest.

This is an online conference and it will take place on Zoom. This digital format is a great way for all participants to engage with what promises to be an informative event with ample opportunities to ask speakers questions and network with fellow professionals in forestry and arboriculture, but also within the wider landscape industry.

Who should attend?

The online conference is aimed at arboriculturists, urban foresters, local authority planning officers and landscape architects and aims to promote best practice throughout the country.


09:30Sharon Durdant-Hollamby FICFor: Introduction from the Chair

09:40Jeremy Barrell FICFor

10:15 – Dr Duncan Slater MICFor


11:10Dr Glynn Percival

11:45Catherine Nuttgens

12:20Tony Kirkham MBE

12:55Sharon Durdant-Hollamby FICFor: Summary from the Chair


Conference Chair

Sharon Durdant-Hollamby FICFor – Vice President, Institute of Chartered Foresters

Sharon is a Chartered Arboriculturist in private practice, with experience in local government and contracting. Her specialisms are trees in relation to planning and construction, tree hazard management and tree radar. She brings to the Institute a passion for promoting careers in arboriculture and forestry, spreading the word about trees in general, and improving the well-being of our society through improved environments.



Tony Kirkham MBEHead of Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Tony began his career as a forestry apprentice with Tilhill Forestry Nurseries. After spending time working in Hamburg learning about tree management within urban and park environments, he moved to Kew to study the renowned Diploma in Horticulture. As Head of Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services, Tony and his team manage over 14,000 trees. In recognition of his invaluable contribution to horticulture in a career spanning over 40 years, Tony was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2020.

Dr Duncan Slater MICFor

Based on scientific work carried out at Myerscough College, Lancashire, Dr Duncan Slater will present research-based advice on the establishment of trees in urban locations, including a novel means of soil assessment, the benefits of suspended pavement schemes, research into the best tree support systems and how knowledge of natural bracing applies to establishing trees.

Dr Glynn Percival

This seminar will discuss how to increase survival and establishment rates of newly planted trees. Areas to be covered include the correct identification of soil conditions prior to planting and the importance of soil analysis, compaction and identification of soil contaminants.

Correct planting techniques will be emphasised and the impact of incorrect practices such as deep planting shown. Techniques to measure tree health at the time of planting (chlorophyll fluorescence, electrolyte leakage, starch analysis) will also be explained. The effectiveness of a range of post-planting soil amendments to enhance transplant survival rates such as mycorrhiza, sugars, biostimulants, fertilisation, mulches, etc., based on results from independent research institutes will be highlighted.

Jeremy Barrell FRICS FICFor

Jeremy is a Chartered Forester, Biologist, and Surveyor. He is the Managing Director of Barrell Tree Consultancy, one of the UK’s leading tree consultancies, specialising in urban tree management. He is an author and regular speaker at international tree conferences, and has published more than 140 articles and papers on tree management.

Catherine Nuttgens

For over 20 years Catherine has engaged people with the wonder of trees and woodlands throughout Yorkshire, exploring their natural history and heritage. More recently she has worked as a tree officer for Sheffield City Council, which has given her a good understanding of situations when trees go bad. Since November 2019, she has been the Community Forestry Manager for Sheffield City Council outlining the role of Community Forester and current projects.

Sheffield Community Forestry has planted trees with communities and schools in Sheffield for over 15 years. Having experienced one of the wettest winters and driest springs on record, and a global pandemic, Catherine will tell the story so far, and talk about bringing together organisations and communities in Sheffield to get ‘the right tree in the right place’ in the right way.