#design with trees


Tree and Design Action Group is a group that shares the collective vision that the location of trees, and all the benefits they bring, can be secured for future generations through better collaboration in the planning, design, construction and management of our urban infrastructure and spaces.

Bethesda Ave at night

The group have created a guide, “The Trees in the Townscape” which outlines 12 principles for utilizing trees in urban design.


1- Know Your Tree Resource

Create and maintain easy-to-use records of the existing canopy cover and the nature and condition of the tree population.

2- Have a Comprehensive Tree Strategy

Produce, adopt and implement a collaborative strategy for protecting, developing and managing a thriving, benefit-generating urban forest which is in tune with local needs and aspirations.

3 – Embed Trees Into Policy and Other Plans

Adopt clear standards for the protection, care, and planting of trees in local plans.


4 – Make Tree-Friendly Places

Create places where tree species can thrive and deliver their full range of benefits without causing harmful nuisance.

5 – Pick the Right Trees

Select and use trees appropriate to the context.

6 – Seek Multiple Benefits

Harvest the full range of benefits trees can deliver as part of a local green infrastructure system, focusing on key local aspirations.


7 – Procure a Healthy Tree

Plant healthy, vigorous trees that have been adequately conditioned to thrive in the environment in which they are destined to live.

8 – Provide Soil, Air and Water

Ensure trees have access to the nutrients, oxygen and water they need to fulfil their genetic potential for growth and longevity.

9 – Create Stakeholders

Work with local political, professional and community stakeholders to champion the value of trees in the townscape.


10 – Take an Asset Management Approach

Inform all planning, management and investment decisions with a robust understanding of both the costs and the value trees deliver.

11 – Be Risk Aware (Rather than Risk Averse)

Take a balanced and proportionate approach to tree safety management.

12 – Adjust Management to Needs

Conduct proactive and tailored tree maintenance to ensure optimum benefits in response to local needs.