Tree Biology and Arboriculture
This course is indispensable if you wish to work professionally with trees. It gives you an introduction to the fascinating world of tree biology, and enables you as tree manager to make wise decisions. Having completed this course, you will never look at trees in the same way again!
Woody plants dominate most vegetation on Earth, and provide microclimate, habitats, and resources for a profusion of other life forms, including humans. Direct tree products include timber, fiber, biomass, fruit, and secondary substances with innumerable economical uses.
Irrespective of the purpose for growing trees, successful
establishment, good growth and health, and high stress tolerance
are important. The course aims at improving the quality and economy
of tree growing by providing an understanding of tree biology in
relation to natural environments and cultivation. The course is
intended for future tree managers in forests and plantations, parks
and urban forests, woody plant producers and biologists with
particular interest in woody plants.
The main objective of the course is to provide a biological understanding of the tree as a living system, and on how management affects trees. The course comprises four modules:
Tree structure and function with focus on water balance
Plant production and establishment
Annual variation in trees and environmental impacts on trees
Management, stability and old age
The course spans disciplines of plant anatomy, physiology, biophysics, ecophysiology and ecology, all in relation to trees: growth patterns and architecture, adaptation to seasonal change and to stress factors, root system structure and function, challenges of a large plant body, ageing and rejuvenation, and effects of competition.
The course includes practical issues such as nursery plant production, plantings, thinning, pruning, stability, and management related to water balance and environmental stresses. Comprehensive knowledge about tree interactions with the surroundings over time provides a basis for practical management of old and young trees.
Responsibilities of tree managers in relation to global challenges including climate change, sustainability and safety issues will be discussed during the course. Although the course has focus on temperate trees, it also includes examples from other climate zones.
MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:
Describe central features of trees’ biology, including a) basic anatomy and architecture, b) carbohydrate, water and nutrient cycling, c) annual variation in life functions and d) life stages of the tree.
Apply techniques and theory from the course to efficiently manage trees with respect to establishment, shape, stability and safety in urban and rural environments, including
a. Assessment of growth and growth patterns
b. Evaluation of nursery stock quality and propagation methods
c. Designing and successfully establishing stands and solitary plantings
d. Detection of signs of ageing and poor health in trees and
e. On this basis make informed decisions and propose actions in relation to tree management
a. Collect and summarize relevant knowledge to solve stated problems related to management of trees
b. Predict how trees will perform in different environments (urban and rural, open/forested) and how they will be affected by changes in their environments, including drought, water logging, frost, and climatic change
Project work: Students will work on case studies based on
aspects of the curriculum. These will be presented in class during
Lectures: Interactive lectures by use of dialogue-based and problem-oriented teaching, small discussion and assignment groups.
Laboratory exercises: Learning of practical tools to analyze tree structure, quality and growth.
Field exercises and excursions: Visits may include forests, parks, urban street trees, nurseries etc.
Peer assessment: Students will comment on case study presentations of other groups.
Please see Absalon.
There are no prerequisites for attending the course other than
an interest in tree biology. However, we recommend related courses
in silviculture, tree pathology, wood technology, and agroforestry
either in preparation or succession of this course.
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 minutes
- Type of assessment details
- Oral examination. The student will draw one of the case studies from the course as well as a question from of a list of exam questions presented to the students during the course. As both case studies and questions are known beforehand there will be no time for preparation at the exam.
- Exam registration requirements
Requirements for attending the exam:
Active participation by presenting and evaluating case studies orally in class. Each student has to present and evaluate at least three case studies during the course.
- Only certain aids allowed
Students may bring their own notes and reports to the exam.
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Identical to ordinary exam. Resubmission of at least three case studies, three weeks before the oral re-examination.
Criteria for exam assessment
See learning outcome
Single subject courses (day)
- Practical exercises
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
- Block 1
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
- Study Board of Geosciences and Management
- Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
- Faculty of Science
- Anders Ræbild (3-7081744f78767d3d7a843d737a)
- Lisbeth Garbrecht Thygesen (3-7b76834f78767d3d7a843d737a)
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Courseinformation of students