For the purpose of tree management, the Belfield campus has been divided into 6 areas and area 7 comprises the Blackrock campus.
1. Woodview area
2. Main spine of campus
3. Belfield wood and Belfield park area
4. Roebuck castle area
5. Rosemount area
6. University Lodge and Richview areas
7. Blackrock campus
Tree surveys provide the following information:
- Tree identity (tag number)
- Tree species
- Age of tree
- Tree condition
- Amenity value
- Comments and recommended work
The approach being adopted with relation to surveying and tree surgery is that a different area of the campus is professionally surveyed regularly by an arboriculturist. This results in a planned and phased approach to tree surgery and planting on campus in response to the condition of trees and woodlands in different areas. This approach also results in improved tree safety as unsafe trees are identified before they become a public hazard if they are being monitored on a regular basis. This is of the utmost importance in an environment as densely populated as UCD to ensure both public safety and continued tree cover in future years.
Once areas are surveyed then decisions can be made regarding future tree planting and surgery in the knowledge that an area is in need of inter-planting or that a diseased tree is likely to pose a significant threat in the future. Pro-active management provides the key for continued healthy tree cover on campus.
The main criteria for tree management are:
- Quality of tree cover
- Age profile
- Species mix
- Shelter against wind, noise and pollution
- Ensuring tree cover for the long term
Different approaches are taken for the management of the woodland areas and specimen trees on campus. The individual specimen trees require more intensive monitoring as many of them are located along the main spine of the campus. They may need crown lifting, reduction, dead wooding or thinning, sucker or branch removal as necessary. Monitoring is constant as the location of many of these trees makes safety of paramount importance.
Professional work carried out on a tree to promote its health and safety is known as tree surgery. It involves the removal of dead, dying and dangerous trees or branches. This is important to the health of the trees and the safety of the public. Tree surgery may also be undertaken to rejuvenate older trees and help to prolong their lifespan.
Removing dead branches to reduce the supply of material available to destructive pests and aggressive pathogenic diseases, improve appearances, eliminate hazards.
Crown Thinning: Selective partial or complete removal of branches to increase light penetration, improve air circulation, lessen wind resistance, reduce weight.
Raising the lower level of the canopy to provide clearance for pedestrians, vehicles, buildings, signage, views.
Pruning back leading and lateral stems to reduce height and maintain prescribed dimensions, whilst retaining structural integrity and natural form
Is a woodland management technique which involves cutting down a tree at about 2m above ground level and allowing it to form multiple side shoots at this level.
“Conservation pollarding” can help to extend the life of the more mature trees, thus prolonging their lifespan until replacement plantings have matured.