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Merrist Wood College

Fungi and the Management of Trees of All Ages at Merrist Wood College, Surrey

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'Fungi and the Management of Trees of All Ages' - delivered by industry expert Jack Kenyon.


Two day short course on Thursday 19 April and Friday 20 April, from 9am - 5pm


Course fee - £225 (includes a buffet lunch) 


For more information and to apply, visit - www.merristwood.ac.uk


Day 1 - Thursday 19 April

A tree is a colony of organisms - some may be hostile, but others are friendly and essential for health, energy reserves and survival. It is estimated there are at least 5 million species of fungi, but only about 100,000 so far are described.


You will look at:

  • How some fungi can colonise the wood and compromise the structural integrity of the tree, whilst others can form symbiotic fungal associations with the tree which are essential for the survival of both organisms.
  • How trees use biological defence mechanisms to resist colonisation by micro-organisms, and use processes to limit decay.
  • How the seasonal phenological cycle can cause implications for tree management in terms of what is done, when work is carried out and how much work is appropriate.
  • How trees have extraordinary capabilities of performing complex information processing. Traditionally trees and plants have been thought to be passive, however there is clear evidence of trees being able to identify animals and insects, and distinguish friendly associates from hostile herbivores.
  • How trees use biogenic volatile organic compound chemicals (VOCs) to attract predators of hostile insects, and communicate with each other.



Day 2 - Friday 20 April

A tree’s life span can be extremely long with some thought to be more than 130,000 years old. The purpose of visual tree assessment is to recognise features which may indicate compromised structural integrity.


You will look at:

  • The assessment of decay and reaction wood growth responses, in terms of hazard and risk management, and remedial and preventative maintenance.
  • The evaluation of methods used for internal investigation of trees, sound equipment, micro drills and other approaches such as winch pull tests.
  • Risk management in respect of quantifying risk by probability or foreseeability.
  • The morphology of veteran and ancient trees, considering the process of reiteration in older trees such as new adaptive or traumatic growths which become copies of the parent tree.

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Thanks for your interest! As we are a college based in the South East, I don't think this is something we would be able to consider in the near future. However, I will pass your interest on to our arboriculture team as it might be something which Jack Kenyon would consider in the future.

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20 hours ago, Elizabeth Woodcock said:

This course (above outline) is running as a one day course (with Jack Kenyon) on 8th June 2019 in Keswick at the Lake District National Park Information Office (up North!)

Here's more information


Or email me on closetotheearth.co.uk@gmail.com


Elizabeth Woodcock


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