One million trees in Greater Manchester at serious risk

City of Trees has completed a detailed tree survey of Greater Manchester, revealing that over one million of the region’s 11 million trees are at serious risk due to disease.

Data has been collected from more than 6,000 trees across Greater Manchester by a team of 57 surveyors who visited nearly 2,000 plots – to help calculate the environmental and economic benefits that trees provide, as well as highlight any risks to tree health.

They found that pests and diseases such as Ash Dieback and Horse Chestnut Bleeding Canker were particular threats to the region’s trees.

According to City of Trees, Greater Manchester’s trees remove 847 tonnes of pollutants each year by acting as a filtration system.

They also assist with excessive storm water, intercepting 1,644,415 cubic metres of stormwater run-off per year.

They estimate that the total annual economic value of air pollution filtration, stormwater attenuation and carbon sequestration in Greater Manchester’s trees is £33,298,891.

The data can be used to protect existing trees, as well as identifying new land for planting – assisting with initiatives such as The Northern Forest and Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – providing guidance for planners and developers.

Bryan Cosgrove at City of Trees said: ‘The i-Tree figures show the crucial role our trees and woods play in combatting climate change and ensuring our city region is more resilient for the future. By putting a price on Greater Manchester’s trees and woods we can ensure they are valued not just in terms of their amazing aesthetics but as natural assets providing a wealth of important environmental and economic benefits.’

He added: ‘The statistic showing trees at risk from pests and disease are extremely worrying and shows the need for us to act now, planting more trees and protecting and preserving the ones we have.’

The data can be used to protect existing trees, as well as identifying new land for planting – assisting with initiatives such as The Northern Forest and Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – providing guidance for planners and developers.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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