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A new way to revive ancient trees

Britain’s gorgeous countryside is made all the more magical by its ancient trees which have witnessed the country evolve over time. When those ancient trees begin to decline, expert intervention is needed to guarantee their continued survival. Bartlett Tree Experts is regularly called out to nurse ancient trees back to health and recently the company has added Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar to its suite of treatments.

Biochar is a type of charcoal made from woody waste, cooked at a low temperature over a long period of time with minimal oxygen. Bartlett added biochar to its process because, when applied to the soil, it improves water holding capacity, increases nutrient delivery to plant roots, and provides a permanent infrastructure for the colonisation of beneficial soil micro-organisms. Carbon Gold enriches biochar with a combination of fungi, bacteria, trace minerals and phosphites to create its range of tree soil improvers and fertilisers.

It’s these biochar-based products that the Bartlett team now put to good use on its customer sites across the UK.

Back in 2013 a 2,000 year old yew tree, officially recognised as the oldest living thing in London, began showing signs of poor health, with lots of branches dying from their outer extremities back towards the main stem.

Similarly an ancient oak in Easingwold, North Yorkshire, had stood for centuries when it recently started showing signs of decline and dieback.

Bartlett’s expert team were called upon to save the trees and carried out sympathetic pruning of the larger dead branches to prevent the dieback destabilising the trees’ crowns. They then used precision air spading to carefully loosen the soil and help the trees’ ancient roots re-grow and begin taking up nutrients. To the freshly de-compacted soil, the team applied fertiliser to replenish the nutrients in the soil, a sugar and water solution to improve the roots’ vascular system and increase the uptake of nutrients, and woodchip mulch to keep the soil surface hydrated, while maintaining its open structure.

Finally Bartlett added Carbon Gold’s enriched biochar with added phosphites, and worked it into the soil within the trees’ root zones.

Since the treatment, both trees are doing well. The old oak continues to stand in Easingwold; with ever improving health, and the ancient yew in London is making much new growth.

Ian Barrow, general manager for Bartlett Tree experts in the UK comments, “Our team of tree care experts have used Carbon Gold’s Soil Improver for newly planted trees for several years. It’s great to see the products now being used so successfully to help revive some of the heritage trees owned by our customers across the country.”


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