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Urban forestry

  • by JW

… tree cities …

… arboretum towns …


Yesterday, we had a day celebrating trees:

Happy Arbor Day!


Earlier in the week, Radio 4’s “Open Country” went looking for trees in Birmingham – which was not difficult:


Birmingham Tree City of the World

Birmingham is one of only fifty-nine cities around the globe to be awarded the status of ‘Tree City of the World’. This is an international framework for a healthy, sustainable urban forestry programme, an award that’s all down to the passion of Birmingham’s citizens for trees.

Helen Mark meets tree planters young and old from near and far; tree wardens, who are kind of like traffic wardens, but for trees (and just as fierce: really, don’t mess with their trees); an academic who runs the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (he really loves trees) and an arboriculturalist who gets to work at 6.30 every morning in his mission to extend Birmingham’s canopy cover. Helen finds out why the city’s tree-focussed ambitions go well beyond just planting trees. All these people know you have to take care of trees for their whole life, not just plonk them in the ground. They also know that urban trees suffer more than those planted in the countryside, so they need extra tenderness.

Helen also finds herself in a once-famous garden that has re-wilded itself. Once the immaculate BBC show garden of TV gardener Percy Thrower, this patch of tree-laden wilderness-heaven is in a secret corner of Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens. She thinks on the whole, he’d approve of the trees. Although maybe not the weeds.

Birmingham Tree City of the World |


This initiative is also from the Arbor Day foundation:


Celebrating greener cities worldwide

Now more than ever, trees and forests are a vital component of healthy, livable, and sustainable communities around the globe.

The Tree Cities of the World programme is committed to inspiring cities and towns to care for and celebrate their urban tree canopy.


Birmingham is rightly proud of being accorded such a status:

Birmingham earns prestigious Tree Cities of the World status |


Meanwhile, the Sidmouth Arboretum, whilst covering the whole of the Sid Valley, is also very much an ‘urban forestry’ project:


With a very interesting look here at the ‘civic arboretum’ idea:

Arboretum towns |


With more here:

Futures Forum: The urban tree canopy

Futures Forum: Urban forests

Futures Forum: Greening the streets of Sidmouth