Canopy crisis facing Cardiff
Keith Sacre, international tree expert and chair of the Arboricultural Association, says that Cardiff will face a canopy crisis unless more young trees are planted as a matter of urgency.
Addressing Cardiff Civic Society’s Canopi Caerdydd/Canopy Cardiff launch at The Gate Arts Centre, he said that there was little evidence of succession planting in the city.
“While exploring the city I saw very many mature trees, which is great, but most of these are about two thirds through their natural lifespan, unless a concerted planting project takes place very soon, the city’s green heart will take a hit in the not so distant future.”
Cambridge- based Sacre went on to say that there is no quick fix for replacing mature trees, one large tree provides enough oxygen for four people, and even a semi mature tree will take years to reach the same level aesthetically and from the point of view of improving air quality.
“Succession planting needs to be an ongoing process simply to maintain current canopy levels and health benefits,” he says.
Canopi Caerdydd/Canopy Cardiff, the Civic Society’s latest initiative aims to increase tree cover in the city.
“In the last few years Cardiff has lost 34 hectares of trees and many areas of the city, such as Cardiff Bay have below UK average tree cover ,“ says society chairwoman, Nerys Lloyd-Pierce. “We will work alongside the local authority, organisations and businesses to plant scores of new trees over the next few years. The importance of trees cannot be under estimated. For instance, research from Exeter University illustrates that people living close to urban green space are less likely to suffer from stress, anxiety and depression; while in 1984, Roger Ulrich concluded that hospital patients with a view of green space recovered more quickly. Research in Toronto indicates that people living on tree lined streets enjoyed health benefits that equate to their being seven years younger. This growing body of evidence relating to the health and well-being benefits of trees indicates strongly that there is an economic case for tree planting.”