This book aims to stimulate connections and communication between disciplines, to encourage integrated approaches to study and practice and to build upon shared knowledge. Considering the tree over its lifespan and looking more deeply at the ancient phase, a better understanding of the ageing process helps to illuminate the way tree respond to damage and injury. The lifespan approach provides insights into how this understanding may be applied to pruning practices for trees in their young and mature phases. The book explores pruning requirements of the young urban tree in the first 25 years after planting and outlines the Dutch pruning system along with indicative costs. It also considers the practical implications of compartmentalisation of damage in trees (the CODIT Principle) and provides management guidance with particular reference to pruning of trees in the mature phase.
From the lifespan approach, an “ancient tree paradigm” emerges as an important and guiding concept, which requires that the special qualities and interactions between the tree and its environment are taken into full account. In this sense the ageing tree is considered not alone as an individual but rather as a colony and also an ecosystem, one that functions within and beyond the tree, and, fundamentally, includes its ancient soil.