Background to the Discussion

We hope this online discussion will help FONTT members and other visitors to our website think more deeply about the environmental issues described in the native tree selection guide, particularly planting native trees with the aim to increase biodiversity in the ecosystem.

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. 

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, particularly the biodiversity indicator.