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Calling all Bristol Allotment Holders

Ashmeads Kernel c.Trees for Life

We  are delighted to have teamed up with Bristol City Council’s Allotments Team for the fifth year running.

Once again we can offer discounted, high quality, 3 year old potted fruit trees. Whilst allotment holders are limited to dwarfing root-stocks, we can still offer a huge range of  fruit trees and bushes in many varieties.

Trees and bushes are available for collection from Ashton Court in early November 2016 and early March 2017. (A total of 6 dwarfing fruit trees are allowable on an allotment.)

Interested? All you have to do is click: FoA-Trust-Quality-Fruit-Tree-List-2016_17, check that the varieties and tree forms you want are available on the following rootstocks and email with your tree and/ or bush order. We will confirm availability and let you know payment and collection details.

Rootstocks for allotments

Apples: M27 and M9; Pears/ Quinces: Quince C; Plums/ Damsons/ Gages/ Mirabelles/ Peaches on VVA-1; Cherries: Gisela 5; Apricots on Torinel.

Tree forms for allotments

Most forms (shapes) of trees are allowable provided they are on an approved rootstock (above). As a general rule espaliers and fan- trained trees are not suitable for allotments, as many are grown on more vigorous rootstocks. 

Please also contact us for your garden fruit and ornamental trees.

Posted in: Garden Forest & Allotment Orchard, Latest News | Tagged , |

A new era of restoration

The Wildlife Trusts website has a feature article on the place of woods and forests in its vision of a living landscape.  This, it says, is a recovery plan for nature which involves enlarging, improving, creating and joining up wildlife-rich areas of land to create a connected ecological network across the UK.  Woodlands are a key part of that network.

The Wildlife Trusts are looking to a new era of restoration.  They that there are still many thousands of hectares of conifer plantations on former ancient woodland sites and internationally important open habitats such as peatland – and that there are 50-60,000 ha of plantations on high value wildlife sites within England’s public forest estate.

As the Forest of Avon Trust knows, these represent huge potential for large-scale habitat restoration.  The work that we and others have already carried out has demonstrates that it can be done.



Posted in: Latest News |

Problems of the Plane Tree

The Arboricultural Association website has a link to a story in the Telegraph about problems with the Plane tree across parts of the continent.  The article says that it’s only a matter of time before plane tree wilt (canker stain) reaches Britain.  The disease is currently spreading north through France and is reported to have reached Paris.  It has already wrecked parts of the Canal du Midi in southern France.

Posted in: Latest News, Safeguarding our Trees | Tagged , |

What are your elms like this summer?

It seems to have been a bad summer for the elm across southern England.  Wherever there is elm, there are the tell-tale signs of attack by the elm bark beetle with shriveled brown leaves and bent-over branches standing out against the green hedge background.  From being green and healthy-looking in May and June, during July and August the elm gradually fell victim to the fungus the beetle carries.

To try to stop the fungus spreading, the tree blocks the vessels within the wood that carry water and nutrient, causing tissues to die.  So, just when the elm was fighting back, it’s had another knock, and the cycle of attack – recovery – attack – recovery … continues.  Curiously, however, as Mark Cocker has pointed out in his Spectator review of Fiona Stafford’s book: The Long, Long Life of Trees, this is not so much a story of decline, as one of survival.  Thankfully, we have not seen the last of the elm, although the industrial use of elm is not what it was at its height.  Elm wood is strong, durable and resistant to water.  Traditionally it was used to make furniture, floorboards, boats, wheel hubs, water pipes, troughs, coffins and lavatory seats.  Odd then, perhaps, that it has a reputation for not generating much heat as this old rhyme reminds us:

Apple wood will scent your room,
with incense-like perfume;
Oak and maple, if dry and old,
keep away the winter’s cold;
Ash wood wet or ash wood dry,
a king will warm his slippers by; but
Elm burns like the graveyard mould,
even the very flames are cold!


Posted in: Latest News, Safeguarding our Trees | Tagged , |

The Long, Long Life of Trees

The Guardian has a feature article by Fiona Stafford, whose book: The Long, Long Life of Trees, has just been published.  We suspect that no one reading this blog undervalues the life of trees, or is ignorant of their longevity.  However, judging by all the positive reviews, there’s a lot to appreciate and enjoy in Stafford’s book.  It is available at


Posted in: Latest News |

Bringing a broken landscape back to life

The Guardianhas a long feature on the national forest: How millions of trees brought a broken landscape back to life.  This begins:

“Twenty-five years ago, the Midlands villages of Moira, Donisthorpe and Overseal overlooked a gruesome landscape.  The communities were surrounded by opencast mines, old clay quarries, spoil heaps, derelict coal workings, polluted waterways and all the other ecological wreckage of heavy industry.  The air smelt and tasted unpleasant and the land was poisoned.  There were next to no trees, not many jobs and little wildlife.  Following the closure of the pits, people were deserting the area for Midlands cities such as Birmingham, Derby and Leicester.  The future looked bleak.  Today, a pastoral renaissance is taking place.  Around dozens of former mining and industrial communities, in what was the broken heart of the old Midlands coalfield, a vast, splendid forest of native oak, ash and birch trees is emerging, attracting cyclists, walkers, birdwatchers, canoeists, campers and horse-riders.

… and continues with lots of detail.  Read on …





Posted in: Latest News |

Earth Overshoot Day, 2016

Earth Overshoot Day is the day in the year when our demand for ecological resources and services exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

We maintain this deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Earth Overshoot Day is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network [GFN], an international think tank that coordinates research, develops methodological standards and provides decision-makers with a menu of tools to help the human economy operate within Earth’s ecological limits.

GPN says:

“To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day for each year, Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days of that year that Earth’s biocapacity suffices to provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint.  The remainder of the year corresponds to global overshoot.  Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365.

When the idea was first developed, Overshoot Day was in October; in 2016, it’s today – August 8th.  Soon it will be in July.

Posted in: Latest News |

Take us with you wherever you go!

The Forest of Avon Trust’s website is now mobile and tablet friendly: thanks to James Guest of JG Digital for all of his work on this.

Our tree sales, accredited training, farm advisory and other services will now be available wherever you are (but please do not log on when you are on holiday: we all need a break).

Posted in: Latest News |

New lessons at Westonbirt

Chippenham-based Learning With Nature has been awarded a licence to provide learning sessions for the Forestry Commission at Westonbirt.

As well as pre-school sessions built around favourite story books, and key stage 1 activities linked to the National Curriculum, they will offer sessions for SEN children, and self-led activities.

Posted in: Latest News |

Trees, People and the Built Environment

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) is hosting an international urban trees research conference next Spring (5-6 April 2017) at the University of Birmingham.

The conference will have a focus on two significant areas of research:

[1] Roads to Place – Why trees are an integral part of highway transport design; and

[2] The Health Crisis – the role of trees in improving human health (mental, physical, social and cultural).

The event will provide a platform for UK and international researchers and practitioners to showcase their vital work in these areas, and help both built and natural environment professionals turn this research into action on the ground.  Papers are invited which address the conference topics in both the social and natural sciences.

The deadline for abstract submissions is 21st October 2016


Posted in: Latest News |