Mature trees are iconic landscape features, important historic resources tied to the cultural heritage of a place, and linked to numerous environmental and social benefits. Increased urban expansion and intensive development often trigger demands for the removal of these stands, due to perceived, potential, or actual risks - such as increased fire hazard. Yet, the numerous benefits associated with aging and mature tree stands (such as the cultural legacy that they represent) are also widely recognized and valued, which often leads to controversy and dispute over the goals for, and appropriate methods of management.
A better understanding of these stands, coupled with the awareness of the large array of applicable management actions could help resolve this contentious matter. By compiling existing research on individual tree management, as well as tree-stand management, along with an understanding of the ecology and characteristics of historic trees, this research-based toolkit aims to provide a comprehensive list of resources for proper stand care. The materials presented, case studies described, and examples discussed offer the scientific background and best-practice information useful in the management and maintenance of historic tree stands. Furthermore, this toolkit incorporates the most recent legislation and policy regulations, information which allows local tree managers to make long-term plans, and better informed decisions. Finally, this is a "living document" that will be periodically updated and expanded, and in this we invite your help: if you encounter areas of the toolkit that require additional information please get in touch with us.