The Czech Republic has long been at the vanguard of advances in arboriculture in Europe, so where better to talk about our innovative soil health projects than at the annual conference of the Czech Arboristicka Akademie’s annual Arboriculture Conference at the Czech University of Sciences in Prague. Principal Consultant Claire Harbinson was keynote speaker at the second day of the conference, the theme of which this year was the Wood Wide Web.
Claire presented on Soil and Tree Health: Practical and Policy Approaches, in which she set out the background to the science behind the link between soil health, the rhizosphere and tree growth and health, and presented Treework’s toolkit of soil testing and treatment for tree health that focuses on the biological fraction of the soil. Treeworks has initiated various studies of soil in UK tree populations, many containing ancient and veteran trees, in which we apply organic amendments to try to improve the below-ground ecosystem, remediate problems with tree health and boost trees’ resilience to diseases and pathogens. You can find out more about our soil and tree health services here.
Treework’s work with soils and trees led our director Neville Fay to form the Sustainable Soils Alliance (SSA), a partnership of businesses, campaigning organisations, the applied scientific community, academia, governmental and non-governmental organisations working together to reverse the current crisis in soil health and to restore our soils to health within one generation. Claire’s talk introduced the SSA and its valuable work to the Czech community, and explored how the arboricultural community can contribute to policy change around soils, both in the UK and abroad. You can find out more about the SSA at their website.
Claire’s talk was well received and the conference was well attended. It is always great to forge links with our partners on the Continent and to share information and practical advice with them. The increase in syndromic stress-related tree diseases and problems with the soil are Europe-wide problems that we will only solve through knowledge exchange and collaboration.