A recent study suggests that a variety of foraging trees have a significant impact on the health of our landscape, and that we should consider their use when designing new buildings, parks and landscapes.
The report, released this week, was commissioned by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPPA) and examined the health impacts of a variety the common sapling and forager tree species in the UK.
The study found that the two species were the most likely to lead to chronic diseases such as root rot, which in turn could impact on our health, the environment and our overall quality of life.
For example, a single tree could lead to up to two years of decline in the tree species that was a target for the study.
This could be detrimental for local communities.
Researchers also found that foragers tend to grow larger than saplings, and foragers are more susceptible to disease, including diseases such the bark rot disease, which causes the bark to become brittle and brittle, as well as the fungi which can cause rot.
Foragers have also been found to be more susceptible than sapling species to pests and disease, with the study noting that, as a result, sapling-based structures can be less attractive to birds.
The research, which involved a wide range of species, included research on the root health of tree species and also looked at how trees affect the health and behaviour of animals.
In addition, researchers looked at the impact of foragers on the overall health of the UK landscape, with a particular focus on how tree species affect vegetation.
It is important to note that, while saplings and foraging species are likely to be the most common plants grown in the garden, it is not clear whether foragers and saplings will always be at the top of our priorities.
“It’s important to recognise that foraging plants are not always the top priority, but for some areas, they may be the key,” said Professor Mark Smith, lead author of the study and a conservation specialist at the University of Kent.
“In some areas where saplings are the dominant plant species, there are large numbers of forager trees, which will increase their numbers and therefore affect vegetation.”
While the research did not look at the impacts on biodiversity, it did show that forager and sapling plants could be at higher risk of pests and diseases than their tree-based counterparts.
The paper is currently being reviewed by the NPPA, which is also looking into whether forager plants should be grown alongside forage species in parks and other areas of the country.
For the research, researchers surveyed more than 2,000 people and surveyed more of them than in the past.
The survey was conducted between November and February this year.
While saplings have long been a target of the research community, this study has shown foragers to be an even more important species for conservation.
Foraging trees could provide a new source of nutrients for soil and for example provide a source of soil moisture, which could reduce the amount of erosion that is caused by trees.
“Foragers have a large range of beneficial effects, such as for the health, and protection, of our landscapes,” said Dr Richard Roddin, chair of the NPPS’ conservation committee.
“Their role in helping to maintain the health (and productivity) of our countryside will be an important part of our long-term strategy for protecting our environment.”