Selecting species for a better urban treescape

Growing a more resilient urban forest


We face multiple urban challenges, both today and into the future, including the anticipated impacts of a changing climate.  As a major component of green infrastructure, trees are widely recognised as making a significant contribution towards ameliorating some of these issues. However, trees can only deliver their many benefits over the long term if appropriate species are selected for a given location.

So how can we improve species selection?

In May 2016 Myerscough College and the University of Lancaster received a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant to explore this question and this day seminar presents their findings and, in collaboration with the Trees and Design Action Group are launching a new digital document – Species Selection for Green Infrastructure: A Guide for Specifiers – so that we can provide our towns and cities with diverse and resilient palette of trees that are capable of thriving in challenging urban environments.

This seminar is designed for architects, engineers, landscape architects, planners, developers, housebuilders, health professionals and urban foresters. All have a key part to play in promoting the value of a healthy and resilient urban forest for the multiple social, environmental and economic benefits that it can deliver.

Specialist arboricultural trade stands will accompany a programme of expert speakers.

Programme includes:

9.00am – 10.00am Registration and coffee

10.00am – 10.10am Welcome and outline for the day
Chair: Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboretum, Gardens & Horticulture Services, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Session 1: Introducing the Species Selection Guide for Green Infrastructure
Dr. Andrew Hirons, Senior Lecturer in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry University Centre Myerscough and Dr. Henrik Sjöman, Scientific Curator, Gothenburg Botanical Gardens and researcher and lecturer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, will synthesise the two years of research and expertise in this project and share their insights on how to select tree species to create more resilient urban dwellings.

[12.00pm – 12.45pm.  Light lunch will be provided.]

Session 2: Future visions and strategic issues

12.45pm – 1.15pm   Green infrastructure and urban air quality
Professor Rob Mackenzie, Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director BIFor, University of Birmingham

1.15pm – 1.45pm Provision of multiple ecosystem services by urban hedges
Dr. Tijana Blanusa, Principal Horticultural Scientist, Royal Horticultural Society

1.45pm – 2.15pm  Biosecurity and green infrastructure
Dr. Charles Lane, Consultant Plant Pathologist, Fera

2.15pm – 2.45pm Working in the Wider Context
Anne Jaluzot, Green infrastructure planning consultant and lead researcher and writer for Trees and Design Action Group

[2.45pm – 3.15pm Tea]

Session 3: What is the action plan for the UK?

3.15pm – 4.00pm Panel session where the audience will be invited to both ask questions and help to formulate recommendations for action

[4.00pm    Seminar ends]

A full seminar programme with speaker information can be downloaded here.

(If you are unable to view the Eventbrite booking form above, please click here.)


For more information please contact the event organiser Dr. Andrew Hirons at

This event is hosted by the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) and the Built Environment Trust.