soils and tree health: our work

Trees are often described as the canary in the coal-mine of soil degradation: their condition reflects the root and soil system that they inhabit. Trees depend upon soils for nutrients, access to water and other elements fundamental to their root systems and holistic health.

Currently, our nation’s trees are under threat: their health is in decline, and our tree populations unsustainable, in turn threatening the organisms that rely on trees for habitat as well food source, air quality, climate mitigation and the wealth of other benefits to biodiversity, people and planet that trees provide.

The SSA is working with key partners Treework Environmental Practice and the Environment Agency, and through further partnerships with NIAB and the Royal Parks to provide education and knowledge dissemination around the impacts of soil degradation on trees and trees as an indicator of soil health problems. We are currently working with Natural England conservation managers, and other members of the nature conservation and arboricultural communities, to develop soil recovery plans for degraded Wood Pasture & Parkland habitat.

This is part of our overarching view of the interconnected nature of habitats and ecosystems, and our work to break down siloed thinking across the environmental sector.


Moccas Park Soil Study day, March 2019

The SSA partnered with Treework Experimental Practice soils department to provide a study workshop for Natural England staff at Moccas Park on soil health and the implications for good soil management for the benefit of trees on sites with high biodiversity and conservation value.

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Soils & Trees: Standing Your Ground

A collaborative conference with the Arboricultural Association, 9-12 dSeptember 2018

"Perhaps arboriculture should be regarded as a branch of soil science." A round-up of the ground breaking ‘Soils & Trees’ conference (Sept 2018), a collaboration between the SSA and the Arboricultural Association.

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Soil Health & Tree Disease: A Practical Workshop, June 2018

The SSA joined forces with Treework Environmental Practice and others to deliver a one-day practical workshop in soil assessment approaches to tree health, sweet chestnut ink disease & dieback; Greenwich Park, London.