Background to the Discussion Panel

We hope this online discussion panel will help FONTT members and other visitors to our website think more deeply about the environmental issues described in the guide and get answers to questions and concerns about planting native trees.

Why a discussion?

Amazing how much controversy can be stirred up by one booklet about planting native trees.  In addition to a lot of enthusiastic feedback, we’ve heard things from some quarters such as: “The science is wrong.”  “Your tables mislead the reader.”  “The guide will cause fewer native tree species to be planted.”

Experience taught the guide’s authors about the need to organize some means for a full discussion of comments and suggestions before making any changes to the guide.  The authors learned this lesson when they hastily revised the draft based on comments from one reviewer, only to find that the next reviewer made precisely the opposite comments. 

How will the
discussion work?

The authors therefore came up with the idea for holding a discussion on the website, in which we invite a series of scientists and other urban forest experts to comment on the guide and its messages by answering a few questions. Website visitors may comment.

The questions that we pose to the experts will be based on the criticisms, comments, and questions that the authors have received about the guide and more generally about the contribution of native trees to urban environments.