Thank you to those people who provided us with feedback back in June on the initial draft put together by the NGIA tree standards committee. Since then, the document has been refined to recognise the effect on both tree growth and quality with the application of good production processes most notably attributable to accreditation. These refinements affect the parameters set out in the Size Index table which looks to establish a balance criteria – where above the ground components are reinforced by a suitably sized root system to support the tree post production.
So what elements have actually changed since June? There has been some change to the language used throughout the document, where meanings have been tidied for improved understanding. The most significant change is with the Size Index Table which now has a range between which the product is required to fit.
The range now offered, replaces the single upper limit value, possibly expanding the breadth of species suitable to be measured in this way. Industry discussion has also highlighted some concern over the level of destructive sampling required to prove compliance at both the production and despatch stages of the process. In essence these ‘tests’ can be discussed and conducted on an individual basis depending on the needs of the customer. We would suggest that if you have an ongoing relationship with your nursery supplier you will develop a feel for the need for thorough testing or not. And if your grower is accredited with NIASA that should automatically provide a level of assurance they are growing material using quality processes. The addition of EcoHort also gives you the peace of mind that they are also growing in an environmentally considerate way. If unsure, talk to your nursery about their accreditation efforts. Be sure to know what you are getting.
Our feedback from Councils, landscapers and fellow growers has found a generally positive appreciation for the need for a Tree Standard within the industry and most are excited about its resulting positive impact on stock quality. There will be exceptions of course, as there are some trees that by virtue of their unique attributes will never fit the mould, and niche markets where trees are grown bigger or are developed for specific purposes such as with espaliered varieties. Winter deciduous stock for instance can also be bigger than the standard if planted when deciduous. This standard does not replace the invaluable relationship, knowledge and advise of qualified nursery people in this regard.
There is still time to read and make comment on the Standard and we encourage everyone with an interest in urban planting and long term green sustainability do so. Please copy this link into your web browser, then type ‘tree’ into the search field.
**For the latest up-to-date information on the 2015 release of AS2303 click here.
Comments are open until the 18th November 2013.
Posted in In the News