Researcher Andrew Hirons, from Myerscough College, provides an update on research supported by a research grant from Fund4Trees.
This year, the project has made a number of advances. During the spring and summer, I have been able to collect new data from plant material at Kew gardens and Hillier Nursery. We have focused on species from the genera Tilia, Fraxinus, Carpinus and Ostrya but have also included a range of other species particularly sourced from Hillier. In total, the drought tolerance of a further 46 species is being studied.
These data have contributed to the existing dataset collated the previous year. I have presented some of the work at the ISA annual conference in Texas. This was well received and generated a good level of interest.
During this autumn, I will collect wood density data from the species under study to allow covariation in trait data to be evaluated.
The project has also been boosted by some NERC funding which will allow these data to be integrated into some species selection guidance that will be published by TDAG at the end of 2017. This will significantly increase the impact of this work and ensure it reaches professionals across the green infrastructure sector.