Resilience and Change

Today I am following on from our established theme of resilience – a trait that is solid amongst many arborists with operational and business strategies. But let’s think more on our products – mulch piles on the ground, or well cared for trees in the ground.

Making mulch piles is easy with a little brain and a lot of brawn (to quote Dr. Shigo). Keeping trees alive for posterity takes less brawn and more brain. Yet with the upcoming global drive to counter environment change we arborists may well have to adapt.

For the greatest model on resilience, we can look to the First Nation people, the Australian Aboriginal people whose lifestyle sustained friable soils, who culturally practised fire mitigation or regular cold burns to abate the devastating hot fires common to our times.

A people who retained and sustained the old growth veteran trees in their management regimes, whilst retaining young replacement trees outside of the crowns of the old.

The First Nation people where more arboriculturist than almost all of us arborists, as they trained forest trees into being well spaced field pasture stock. Field pasture trees or paddock trees with open grown crowns are greater spaces, with more balanced, stronger, broader crowns – than spindly forest trees.

Resilient forests are management for posterity, as individual trees growing in community with open grassland and understorey species. This observation is best applied to urban forest too.

In a future article l will explore this concept with greater detail, with sustainability, or resilience vegetation management as being our next evolutionary step. Beats making piles…

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