Looking after our trees

The University of Sheffield is proud to take care of around 10,500 trees across the estate. To ensure they are well cared for and continue to contribute positively to the Sheffield environment, we survey our trees on a regular basis to make sure they are in good health.


The Landscape management team

Our team use trusted local arboriculturalists to carry out any work.

Specialist equipment, in the form of an ultrasound tomograph and microdrill, enable us to monitor, plan and protect all our trees, ensuring that we can manage them effectively, keeping them healthy as long as possible and able to confidently assess when and if they are at the end of their lives through disease or decay or when they represent a health and safety risk.

Our tree replacement policy

Our tree management policy includes a commitment to replacing any tree we have to remove with at least two new trees, often more.

As we recognise that a sapling will take several years before it begins to make the same kind of environmental impact as an existing mature tree, we invest in semi-mature specimens where possible.

How we choose what trees to plant

We pick trees which have a variety of flower shapes and sizes as well as trees that flower at different times of the year with different seasonal benefits. for example, we will choose to plant a Birch as it requires minimal watering after initial planting and it poses many benefits to biodiversity such as being food and habitat for over 100 insects including the leaves which attract food for aphids and ladybirds. They also provide food for caterpillars and moths. There are also a number of birds which eat the seeds. 

Another tree we often use is the Amelanchier canadensis. This tree hosts habitat for a variety of caterpillars. We also favour this tree as it is earlier flowering and therefore provides pollen for bees and butterflies early in the season as well as the berries being a source of food for birds. 

The success of our young trees and newly planted landscape is a testament to the positive management of the external estate at the University.  Our young trees are watered - as resources are allowed by the team and there is a plan to water all newly planted trees.

When we have to remove trees

Naturally, our tree surveys sometimes highlight trees which need to be removed.

We will only remove a tree when it is considered absolutely necessary and we hope, through the survey work, to be able to gather much more sophisticated intelligence about tree quality, enabling us to monitor condition and keep as many trees alive and well for as long as possible.

We communicate significant tree maintenance work on our EFM News pages.

Download and read our Tree Management Strategy

Tree Management Strategy 2020 (PDF, 1.23MB)

If you have any further questions, please email our Landscape Services Manager Douglas Brooke (d.brooke@sheffield.ac.uk)

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