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This report is a review of evidence about public perspectives about treescape creation, expansion, management and maintenance. The evidence reviewed frequently highlights a variety of perspectives of tree planting from different sociodemographic groups, and stresses the importance of recognising there is a diversity of ‘publics’. This makes public engagement all the more important so as to capture a diversity of views.

Level of public support for tree planting programmes can relate to the benefits and risks that people perceive in relation to the trees. If their perceived benefits outweigh their perceived risks they are likely to support such programmes and initiatives; if the opposite is true, they are unlikely to be supportive. Management and maintenance is particularly important in urban areas where a lack of maintenance can be perceived to create unsafe areas. Overgrowth of shrubs and trees can be seen as obscuring views and lights, and potentially making areas unsafe. In managing urban greenspace networks that include trees it is important to ensure that natural-looking places are well maintained.

Some of the literature about attitudes to street trees includes concerns about lack of on-going maintenance. Negative experiences previously, for example with regard to the maintenance of street trees, can lead to negative attitudes towards new planting. Generally, there is broad support for management of trees and woodlands where the goals are ‘environmental’, particularly if connected to wildlife and conservation goals. Involving the public in decisions, plans and actions helps increase the acceptability of management activities. Overall, this review provides useful evidence for understanding how the public views the creation, expansion, management and maintenance of treescapes, but also reveals much scope for further work to fully understand how the future changes with regard to trees and tree’ed landscapes are likely to be received.

The report has been produced as part of Core Programme 3.

Publication type
Report summaries
Behavioural Scientist
Forestry Staff ClareHall.2e16d0ba.fill 600x600 1