New Tree Planting Standard BS8545

Posted by Sarah Booley on 6/05/2014

Each year public and private sector projects throughout the UK plant trees as part of landscape plans. However much of this planting fails and many trees die before they reach maturity. As much as 25% of planting fails within the public sector according to a 2008 report commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government. A similar failure rate is believed to exist in the private sector.

It is thought that often a disjointed approach to tree production and planting contributes to the high failure rate of planting. To combat this problem a new British Standard has been written to aid anyone involved in the planning, designing, resourcing, producing, planting and managing of new trees in the landscape. BS8545:2014, Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape, aims to provide a condensed summary of best practice and current research to provide practical recommendations and guidance. 

The lead author of the new Standard, Keith Sacre, describes the benefits of BS 8545 as: “The beauty of a standard such as BS 8545 is that it describes a method of planting for young trees that will allow them to reach their full potential and to deliver the benefits that they were planted for in the first place. The standard can help do this logically and systematically without excessive or abnormal input from management.

The standard explains how the success of planting relies upon the consideration of factors relating to tree physiology, tree quality, environmental conditions and management strategies. It highlights the importance of integrating careful design, nursery production and planting site management to ensure that trees that are planted survive to achieve independence in the landscape. Whilst the new Standard only applies to trees where a distinct crown has been prepared in a nursery for planting at Ecosulis we consider these issues as part of all planting projects to ensure successful tree growth. We have experience of a wide range of projects from small planting schemes of a few trees to much larger habitat creation. Much more information on our past projects can be found on our Habitat Creation pages.   

One of the key issues we consider when designing any planting scheme is the suitability of a particular species for that environment. This includes considering its purpose within the planting scheme as well as its resistance to environmental constraints such as drought or wind as well and any pollutants in the air, water and soil. Beyond this individual trees should be assessed to ensure they are more likely to survive. The new Standard make recommendations on a range of factors from those relating to root development to stem growth. Furthermore we appreciate the benefits of implementing simple medium term management of new planting to ensure long term success.

For more information about BS 8545:2014 head to the BSI Website or to find out how Ecosulis can fulfil your project’s planting needs get in touch with us.