Beautiful trees and the UK landscape go hand-in-hand, but did you know that many of our beloved trees are under threat, becoming ravaged by pests and diseases? As part of National Plant Health Week, here, Gardeners’ World presenter Adam Frost chats to former Head of Arboretum at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Tony Kirkham, and Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall, Geraint Richards, about the state of our nation’s trees.

Delving into which UK trees are currently under threat, from the caterpillar attacking popular parkland horse chestnuts, to ash dieback and acute oak decline, just how bad is it? Are we gardeners on the front line and more importantly, what, if anything, can we do to steer some of our most important native trees away from a possible point of extinction?

Whether ancient specimens in native woodlands, or prize examples in our parks and gardens, trees have always been adored and celebrated by gardeners and nature lovers alike. So, listen now, as Adam, Tony and Geraint explain why we need to start taking tree health seriously and how to ensure we don’t see some of them disappearing from our treescapes entirely.

Plus, they share advice on what you should be planting into your garden, what to look for when buying a tree, how to spot a healthy one and best gardening hygiene practice for tackling biosecurity.

About our guests

  • Adam Frost is a BBC Gardeners’ World presenter and British garden designer known for his successes at the Chelsea Flower Show. Follow Adam on Instagram.
  • Dr Tony Kirkham was the Head of Arboretum, Gardens & Horticultural Services at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew until his retirement in 2021. He is the author of many award-winning and popular books on trees, including pruning and training guides and his celebration of their glory in Remarkable Trees (Thames & Hudson). Follow Tony on Instagram.
  • Geraint Richards is Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall.

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