Tree planting

Dysart Open Space

Dysart open space / Royal Park Gate

The poplar trees at Dysart open space have recently been surveyed and a number of issues were raised regarding the health of these trees. 

The trees were inspected using Visual Tree Assessment (VTA) techniques, a standard approach to tree risk assessment, involving the diagnosis of structural defects, the evaluation of their significance from visible signs and the application of arboricultural biomechanical knowledge.

As a result, the following essential arboricultural safety works have been instructed for September:

  • Removal of 7 poplars due to decay or disease.

  • 8 poplars require their height to be reduced by half in order to keep them in place but reduce the risk of limb or whole stem failure.

Some species of poplar have an unpredictable and brittle nature and relatively short life span in urban environments and it is important to manage poplars carefully in well used spaces. Where possible, we manage them in a way that enables us to keep them for as long as possible, such as crown reduction (reducing the height). The map below shows the trees to be removed in red and the trees to be reduced in yellow.


These works are essential to keep the council in line with its policies of good tree stock management. Undertaking these works, along with the proposals for replanting will:
  • Minimise hazards such as branch or entire stem failure. Failures not only lead to decay and dysfunction within the tree, but can also cause damage to people and/or property.

  • Reduce the threat to people and/or property by managing the trees appropriately.

  • Create a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment for residents.

  • Retain as many trees as possible. 

Failure to undertake these works will leave the council liable for any accidents that may occur.


We have had an independent ecology report done on the trees at Dysart open space which has highlighted potential conflicts with bats and badgers and how we should mitigate and minimise disturbance. We have put in place specific working practices that ensures we are able to fulfil all the ecologists recommendations.

Replanting plan:

In order to enhance the natural and aesthetic value of the local area for the future, we plan to plant 14 trees in the vicinity this winter. Location and species include:

The tree planting proposals have been designed to provide the most environmental benefits. Planting a variety of species that give different benefits throughout the year will enhance biodiversity for the area and provide much-needed food sources for birds, bees, butterflies and other insects.

Issues with the existing trees: 

1. Ganoderma decay fungi is beginning to emerge on one of the poplars. Ganoderma (a tree decay fungi) specialises in degrading lignin within the tree, which leaves the internal wood soft and stringy. poplars are extremely poor at defending itself against this fungi and are quickly hollowed out by it. The internal wood becomes soft and the result is windthrow, collapse and/or stem fracture.

2. Pockets of decay caused by other factors affect the trees structural stability and makes it liable to snapping and windthrow. Where trees can be retained with these defects, they will be retained by reducing the tree to half its height.

3. The small holes at the base of the stem of the poplars are the 'exit holes' of the poplar hornet moth (a moth that disguises itself as a hornet). Whilst this is not a sole reason to remove a tree, the larvae feeds on the trees cambium layer - the part of the tree that produces new tissue/growth every year. Where there are extensive infestations, the tree must be monitored and assessed annually for any signs of decline or dieback.

4. The row of poplars near Dysart Avenue have large amounts of dead wood in the canopy and are showing signs of dieback which indicates the trees are in decline. One of the poplars has snapped in half and this will be removed for safety reasons.