Woody plants

As woody plants and especially trees form the backbone of a park, they always demand special attention and care. With them one maintains the defining green structure of a park or garden. Wherever possible they should be allowed to fully evolve into their own characteristic habit. This requires much space, which is not always available. Therefore, it remains necessary in many spots to apply rejuvenative pruning in order to achieve the preferred internal variation and composition.

Although woody vegetation may vary considerably, and thus may appear in many forms, they are all characterised by a forest or woodlandlike image. Naturalistic woodland plantings could be categorised as comprising plantings of woody and herbaceous plants belonging to the indigenous flora, containing four to five vegetation layers:

– tree layer

– higher shrub layer, and/or

– lower shrub layer

– herbaceous layer

– moss/fungus layer.

Of the woody species, the tree-forming species are decisive for the main impact.

Woody plantings can be divided into categories with a high, average or low degree of refinement. This degree of refinement has a direct bearing on the manner in which they should be maintained. The higher the degree of refinement, the more intensive human intervention will be, implying a higher maintenance level. This is valid for both woody and herbaceous plants.

For the maintenance of woody plants one may discern:

– management during the initial phase; that is the period of planting and the following

period of approximately four years

– management during the maintenance phase, that is the period following the initial


Maintenance differs greatly during these two different periods.