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1 Current status
1.1.1 Urban trees can be defined as those that occur as individuals or small groups rather than in woodlands. Sites include roadsides and verges, parks, cemeteries and private gardens.
1.1.2 No national information is available on numbers, species or distribution. Trees in Towns” 1994 gives representation data status, species and quality.
1.1.3 Trees have important non-wildlife functions in the urban context, principally in softening and ‘greening’ landscapes, screening undesirable views, reducing noise pollution and mitigating the effects of aerial pollution, especially from vehicle emissions. They contribute hugely to people’s perceptions about their quality of life.
1.1.4 Their contribution to biodiversity is to a large extent dependent upon their context. Suburban areas with large numbers of scattered trees in proximity to shrubs and bushes, large gardens or parkland are especially valuable, particularly to mobile animals. Such areas provide important nest
and feeding sites for birds and feeding and roost sites for bats. Native species are of greatest importance since they usually support a larger diversity of invertebrates.
1.1.5 Ancient trees are often of great cultural and historical significance and can not be replaced.
1.2.1 None of the local authorities has a complete database of its urban tree stock. However, Liverpool has an estimated 12,300 park and street trees and 2550 privately-owned trees are covered by Tree Preservation Orders.
1.2.2 The variety of species is very large and includes a number of unusual exotics. Most urban trees are probably not locally native species.
1.2.3 Most major planting schemes were carried out in the latter part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. In many areas the stock is therefore evenly aged and declining in condition.
1.2.4 In areas of Southport, Formby and Blundellsands urban trees, particularly in gardens, provide important habitat for Red Squirrels.