Research into the apparent widespread deterioration in physiological condition of yew trees in the southeast of England (and possibly further afield)

Treecosystems has been instrumental in setting up and leading a research consortium looking into the apparent serious deterioration of yew trees of all age groups over the last 10-15 years at many sites in the southeast, up into the midlands, and possibly also further afield.

The consortium represents a collaboration between the owners of the three most significant populations of AVT yews in the UK: Newlands Corner/Merrow Downs in Guildford (Albury Estate/Guildford Borough Council), Great Yews near Salisbury (Longford Estate) and Kingley Vale in West Sussex (Natural England), and their associated yew expert advisors. Other consortium members include academic lead Myerscough University College, the Arboricultural Association and other members of the Ancient Yew Group, including expert dendrochronologist Toby Hindson.

The consortium is currently carrying out a pilot project at Newlands Corner/Merrow Downs. This pilot is trialling novel, state of the art equipment for continuous measurement of tree stress and growth rates over time, whilst at the same time amassing a large dataset for subsequent evaluation.

Next the group plans to set up some ‘Case Funded’ PhD’s in collaboration with an industry partner, to build upon the work of the pilot project and investigate further the causes of yew tree stress and, crucially, what treatments can best be used to improve the prognosis for affected trees and improve yew tree and soil vitality.

See also: Declining Yew Trees Feature