Level 2: Worked Trees

From the walk-over survey, you should have identified some notable or obvious worked trees which need to be recorded in more detail. A separate recording form is included in the survey guide (pages 26, 32 and 33) or can be downloaded here. As well as recording the species of tree and its overall form and dimensions, the form gives space to mark down if there are any hollows, fungi or distinctive marks on the tree. Very large or apparently old trees can be submitted to the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree recording scheme.

Recording the worked trees in detail can be carried out in conjunction with recording detailed surface features or as a different exercise.

Old coppiced silver birch

Old coppiced silver birch

Sometimes worked trees are present on or next to other features. This may help date the feature if the age of the tree can be estimated.

In most industrial treescapes there is a variety of species, age and growth form of trees. Worked trees have often been managed for centuries before being abandoned. They have distinctive forms which can be easily recorded. A coppice stool for example, can be extremely old but the stems arising from it can be relatively young. This gives the appearance of a cluster of small-stemmed trees. The diameter of an individual stem will indicate when the tree was last coppiced. Measuring the coppice stool gives a different age. If many of the worked trees are pollards it may indicate that the woodland is a former wood pasture or a deer park. It is worth remembering that some worked trees such as coppiced Rowan and Hawthorn may be quite small but very old and can easily be overlooked.