The nursery industry is reviewing the national tree standard to bring a greater understanding of sizing and regulations to councils and landscapers. The study aims to make it easier to supply mature trees for public space ventures.
Increasingly, literature supporting the use of established trees in government managed landscapes has seen the increase in demand for the mature tree industry, however certain regulations surrounding tree sizing and canopy cover can often make last minute orders hard to fill or worse, rejection of trees delivered to the site can result from sizing incompatibilities.
Now research led by Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment is being funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) using the nursery R&D levy and funds from the Australian Government to review national tree standards.
The research will review several aspects of the current national standard AS2303:2015 Tree Stock for Landscape Use with the results aiming to give councils and specifiers added confidence when planting in public space landscapes.
So far, 13,000 trees from 23 nurseries across the country have been tested for their ‘root to shoot’ balance. This has been conducted across species and different climatic zones. It is reported that some varieties have shown a greater variation in suitability than the current standards allow, this results in the rejection of some trees that are realistically fit for purpose but otherwise fall outside of regulation.
By investing in bringing these variations into light, it is hoped that the data collected will help prompt an application for revision of AS2303:2015 that will account for a greater variety of tree suitability without compromising on industry safety.