The Białowieża Seminar (IX 2015)

In September 2015, a group of arborists, experts and activists in the name of trees met together at the famous Białowieża to participate in an exceptional event – a 2-day seminar on Pielęgnacja drzew w trakcie całego ich życia (“Tending trees throughout their lives”). The 30 participants hailed from Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Italy, Kaliningrad District, the UK and the USA.

The event kicked off with a visit to the Strict Reserve of Białowieża National Park. After our very inspiring trip there, we made it to the annual display of fungi that the Park authorities organise. 



The key part of the event was then the seminar. The day began with Prof. Dirk Dujesiefken (Head of the Institute of Arboriculture in Hamburg) talking on tree survival strategies.

The next part was led by Jan-Willem de Groot from The Netherlands, who offered key principles underpinning the effective tending of young trees. This speaker presented the concept of the 25-year pruning plan for trees. 

Prof. Dujesiefken then made a welcome return to the rostrum to explain the CODIT (Compartmentalisation of decay in trees) theory and its impact on arboriculture. There was then a presentation of Hamburg’s tree tending system, with the emphasis on mature specimens. This was followed by a presentation of the conservatorial arboriculture concept by Neville Fay from the UK. The focus here was on ancient trees. Neville also presented the main assumptions underpinning the so-called retrenchment pruning (a step-by-step means of limiting the sizes of tree crowns). 

The next speaker was Peter Del Tredici from Harvard, who spoke on ageing, rejuvenation and resistance in trees. Peter explained morphological and physiological aspects of tree ageing, as well as the significance of this for practitioners. 

The floor was then given to the last speaker - Ted Green of the UK – whose passion and commitment was plain for all to see as he shared with the audience his penetrating and insightful observations on the relationships between trees and fungi, as well as practical conclusions arising for arborists.


Thank You all for inspiring meeting!



The Seminar was organised within Roads for Nature – campaign promoting trees in Poland`s rural landscapes, as habitats and ecological corridors