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What Tree Surgeons can Learn From Boscastle

Ten years on from the severe floods that hit the village of Boscastle, tree surgeons are able to learn lessons from the events of 2004 and apply them in the present day.

One of the major disruptions caused to the local community was due to the number of fallen trees and branches swept along by the floodwater, which ultimately blocked both bridges in Boscastle.

After the event, as part of the long-term clear-up operation, it was decided that upstream forests must be managed on a more regular basis, to prevent this from ever happening again.

Forestry specialists worked with the Environment Agency and landowners including the National Trust to identify which trees reduced the risk of flooding, by helping to keep the ground stable with their root systems, and which were at risk of being felled by floodwater and carried downstream.

Long-term action has included felling unstable trees pre-emptively, as well as coppicing those along the banks of the rivers that flow into Boscastle, and especially ensuring the stability of trees on the surrounding flood plains.

Tree surgeons can help landowners in the area to take similar action, protecting the stability of soils in the area and ensuring any weak trees are felled ahead of time and in good weather, ready for any extremes over the coming autumn and winter months.