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Choosing Tomorrow’s Urban Trees for France

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Thierry Lamant

Published May 2019 in International Oaks No. 30: 253–260

Abstract

Planting trees in urban situations that will be adapted to expected climate changes is a problem that needs to be addressed today. The present review takes a look at the species of oak currently planted in French cities and the obstacles that need to be overcome to encourage interest in diversifying urban plantings. Generally, the curriculum for landscape architects no longer includes studying the ecological requirements of species or mastering plant identification. The nursery profession is in jeopardy in the face of the hegemony of garden centers, the main objective of which is much less the diversification of plants than the large-scale sale of plants. Growing a limited number of species means favoring low genetic diversity. This in turn weakens the defense responses of trees faced with diseases, native or non-native, and their ability to respond positively in the face of climate change. These and other considerations should motivate those involved in urban green spaces to act differently.

Keywords

urban trees, climate change, Quercus, oaks