Lofty job of maintaining trees

DZG’s gardening team called in specialist contractors and a 100ft crane to help them tackle three towering trees.

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A tree surgeon and the specialist equipment were drafted in to cut back three mature ash trees within our 40-acre site.

Wearing a safety harness, the tree surgeon scaled the trees and cut off branches, which were lowered to the ground by the crane, as shown right.

Gardening staff then cut up the wood for use across the site.

The first ash by the gibbons enclosure had its crown reduced by 25 per cent and a second one by the chairlift and Baboons on the Bank exhibit was cut down by around 8m – to half its height.

Both trees were maintained to reduce the risk of damage in high winds and to prevent the branches encroaching upon enclosures.

The third ash by the Orang House was a pollarded tree which was decaying and needed to be felled.

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Head Gardener Carl Stevens said: “This work was part of our annual tree maintenance programme and we had to get planning permission from Dudley Council to carry it out.

weblofty“And not one single branch goes to waste!

“We give branches to the Keepers to feed to the animals, logs are used for enrichment once they have harboured a few bugs and some is made into woodchip for the zoo’s gardens and enclosures.”

Tree maintenance is something we take very seriously at DZG.

Every five years a specialist arboriculturist comes on site to conduct a risk assessment.

And DZG’s gardening team carries out its own surveys every autumn and spring.