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Biodiversity

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Biodiversity: Why it’s so Important, and the Role of Trees

Biodiversity refers to all life on Earth, in all its variety. In any habitat, whether it’s a garden or a woodland, a meadow or a fen, there are so many organisms interacting that it would be impossible to count them.

The greater the variety and number of these organisms, the more biodiverse the area is, and the healthier its ecosystem. This is because a more complex habitat is able to provide a wider range of conditions that suit the particular needs of a greater variety of species.

The more species we have, the lower the chance of pests, diseases, natural disasters and other threats negatively impacting upon a habitat.

Take for example the threat of tree diseases, such as ash dieback. The UK faces losing some 80 per cent of its ash trees due to the disease, which will have a drastic effect on the species that rely on the tree. To try to ease the effect of the damage, it is vital that other species of tree that are not susceptible are planted in order to replace the role of the ash tree within the ecosystem.

Biodiversity is also crucial to various elements of human life too. Every species, and the ecosystems they form, are what make human existence possible. The human race is dependent on ecosystems for good and the air that we breathe. Our entire society and agricultural system relies on the biodiversity of pollinators, soil organisms, crop pest predators and many more.

How do trees help with biodiversity?

Trees provide us with clean air, protect our landscapes from flooding, and collect carbon from the atmosphere, vital in the fight against climate change. In the UK, it is reckoned that trees offer £6.5 billion worth of flood protection.

It is crucial to plant trees for climate change, but it is equally important to be mindful about how those trees are planted. Planting outside of woodlands, such as in parks and gardens and along streets is important, as is letting areas of land regenerate naturally. It all goes towards creating vital habitat and corridors that help wildlife spread across the landscape.

Oak trees alone support 2,300 species, 326 of which are entirely dependent on oak for their survival. Our two native oak trees are the English or pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and the sessile oak (Quercus petraea). 

The oak’s considerable significance for biodiversity was highlighted courtesy of research published by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in 2019:

  • 2,300 species are supported by the oak tree
  • 326 species depend on oak trees for survival
  • 229 species are rarely found on trees other than oak

Even when it is a sapling, the oak tree works hard to provide food and a haven for wildlife to live. As it grows and matures, it becomes increasingly valuable, developing cavities, crevices, dead wood and other features that plants and animals rely on.

Once an oak tree reaches the ripe old age of 400 years old, it is considered an ancient tree.

By campaigning and lobbying government, the Woodland Trust protects the irreplaceable and vulnerable habitats at the core of biodiversity in the United Kingdom.

The importance of professional tree care

Trees play a vital role in biodiversity, which is why it is essential that if you have trees on your land, you take good care of them.

Pruning trees at the correct time and in the right way is crucial. Our tree ID pages provide extensive advice on the optimum time to prune your individual tree. But it is always advisable to take professional advice before taking any steps to cut back your trees.

TH Trees Ltd has been specialising in tree pruning for almost two decades. This, combined with our extensive qualifications and our widely respected reputation, we are in the best position possible to expertly handle of all your tree pruning requirements, whatever the species of the tree, and whatever its size or location.

For a no-obligation consultation and helpful advice from a qualified tree pruning specialist, call TH Trees Ltd on 01268 642 814.

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