Balancing safety & ecology: management of dead & dying trees in Periurban Parks

Balancing safety & ecology: management of dead & dying trees in Periurban Parks

In recent years, there has been a greater understanding of the vital function dead trees serve in supporting biodiversity and regenerating the forest. In turn, this has resulted in a growing movement to preserve dead wood.

Standing and fallen dead trees are an important element of well-functioning ecosystems. They provide essential nesting locations for birds and bats, attract insects and are vital for fungi. Moreover, dead trees play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and contribute to climate change mitigation.

However, dying trees — especially those that are standing or partially standing, can present a hazard if they fall unexpectedly, particularly when they are located close to trails, recreational areas, or other infrastructure. This is especially true for Periurban Parks, as they are located on the border of urban areas and are highly frequented.

In these situations, managers are confronted with the decision of leaving dying or dead trees as they are for the ecological benefits they bring, or cutting them down to prevent potentially dangerous situations. The latter option, however, is often negatively perceived by the public, and can result in backlash.


The Speakers

During this webinar, we heard from two periurban forest managers, both dealing with the issue of dying and dead trees management, and discussed the accompanying challenges with them.

Andrej Verlič – On talking terms with dead and dying trees

Andrej works as a senior nature conservation councillor at the Landscape park Tivoli, Rožnik and Šiška hill in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Prior to this, he worked as a research assistant at the Slovenian Forestry Institute, and mostly focused on topics related to urban forestry and recreation in forests in and around urban areas. He holds a PhD in environment protection and is a member of the European Forum on Urban Forestry and an associated external member of the EUROPARC Periurban Commission.

Download Andrej’s Presentation Here


Pablo Navascués Ramos – Management of dead and dying trees in a Mediterranean periurban Natural Park. Tendencies, consequences and challenges

Pablo is a forest engineer and graduated in Forest Sciences at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

He has over 25 years of experience in forest management in Protected Areas, restoration and renaturalization plans, forest fire prevention, planification and silviculture, support and promotion of associative management of both private and public forested lands, as well as management of wildland–urban interface areas.

Download Pablo’s Presentation Here