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Mark animated Mark helps look after the council's 19,500 trees, "Trees are a vital asset"

I am one of two tree officers who look after more than 19,500 council trees in the district. We also look after trees for nine parish councils. We inspect the trees regularly for signs of ill health or instability and to see if any work is needed to prevent them from being a hazard to people or property. Trees are dynamic structures, changing and growing all the time and adapting to their environment

I work with colleagues from across the council including in the planning, housing, open spaces and cemeteries services, to make sure that trees are considered and cared for. I also work with council tenants.

Sometimes people view trees as a nuisance, particularly if they feel they are in the wrong place, but the trees in our gardens or streets are vital.  They help soak up excess rainwater, reducing flooding and damage from run-off.  They take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and catch pollution in their leaves, improving the quality of the air we breathe. A tree in your street can increase property prices and crime levels have even been shown to reduce in areas with trees.

I love the variety of the job and the challenge. Tree management, or arboriculture, is a very broad subject, needing knowledge of species, soil science, flora, fauna and fungus, weather conditions and a good knowledge of the local area.  I also get to plant trees, as when we have to remove a tree we will always try and replace it. 

I know that managing the trees well now will have a landscape-wide, long-term impact. Good management of our trees will ensure they survive for generations to come. Trees I plant could open up opportunities for new habitats to develop or introduce 'wildlife corridors' where animals can move freely form one area to another. 

Mark - Our tree officer 

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Updated: 14 Mar 2018
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