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Course Title: Trees For Rehabilitation BHT205

Trees For Rehabilitation BHT205

Horticulture Course
Price:£325 Qualification: Certificate

Learn to plant and care for trees in degraded landscapes. This horticulture course builds an understanding of environmental systems and the rehabilitation of degraded landscapes. Learn about seed collection, storage and germination, propagation, plant selection, establishment techniques, controlling pest & disease after planting.

Course Structure for Trees For Rehabilitation BHT205

  • There are 10 lessons:

    1  Approaches To Land Rehabilitation

    • ​The importance of trees – Erosion control
    • Understanding plants
    • Understanding plant identification
    • Land management programs
    • Biodiversity
    • Soil degradation
    • Erosion – Water erosion, Wind erosion, Control of erosion
    • Salinity – Sources of salt, Control methods for salinity
    • Soil acidification and other problems – Soil acidification, Compaction, Chemical residues
    • Rehabilitation

    2  Ecology Of Soils And Plant Health

    • Biomass
    • The Ecosystem – Abiotic components, Biotic components, Ecological concepts, The web of life, Other relationships between plants and animals
    • Indigenous species
    • Creating habitat corridors for wildlife – benefits, Other benefits, Situating corridors, Types of corridors
    • Design considerations
    • Edge effects
    • What can happen at edges
    • In general
    • Soils – How soils develop naturally, The soil environment, Soil composition, Soil temperature
    • Mycorrhizae
    • Soil physical characteristics – Soil profile, Soil texture, Soil structure
    • Soil chemical characteristics – Soil pH, Cation exchange capacity, Buffering capacity
    • Improving soils
    • Plant nutrition – What nutrients do plants need
    • The nutrient elements – The macronutrients, The micronutrients
    • Choosing the right fertilizer – How much fertilizer to apply
    • Diagnosis of nutritional problems
    • Pests and diseases and plant growth – Environmental factors
    • Resistant plant species and cultivars
    • Pests and Diseases – Biological control, Diseases include, Pests include, Life cycles, Preventative control

    3  Introduction To Seed Propagation Techniques

    • Seed propagation – Seed sources – 4 sources, Maintaining genetic identity in seed, Hybrid seed production
    • Why do plants produce so much seed
    • Collecting and harvesting seed – guidelines
    • Selecting plants to collect from
    • Timing
    • Methods of collection
    • Cleaning seed
    • Storing seed
    • Difficult seeds – Germination treatments, Soaking in boiling water
    • Stratification
    • Fire
    • Leaching seeds
    • Sowing your seeds – When to sow, Propagation media
    • Containers for propagation
    • The bog method
    • Pricking out or tubing seedlings – After care
    • Quality control – The UC System of Soil Mixes
    • Example of a production system
    • Propagation stage
    • Transplanting stage
    • Growing on stage
    • Distribution stage
    • Sources of seed and information
    • Books on seeds and seed germination

    4  Propagation And Nursery Stock

    • Asexual propagation – Why cuttings? How to propagate a cutting, Classification of cutting types, Maintaining genetic identity in seed
    • Types of Cuttings – Softwood cuttings, Semi-Hardwood Cuttings, Hardwood cuttings, Variations on cuttings, Nodal cuttings, Basal cuttings, Root cuttings
    • Stock Plants – Planting out stock plants, Treatment throughout the year, Stock plants for root cuttings
    • Ways of getting roots on difficult to root cuttings – Hormone treatments, Etoliation and banding, Cutting grafts, Misting/fogging, Light treatments, Bacterial treatments, Combining treatments
    • Hormone Treatments in detail
    • Nursery hygiene
    • Spread of pests and diseases
    • Recommended nursery hygiene practices
    • Propagating Mixes – Vermiculite, Perlite, Sand, Rockwool, Peat moss
    • Potting Media – Potting Soil Mixes, Pine Bark, Containers for potting up plants
    • How to maintain plants in pots – Feeding, Watering, Ventilation and light, Temperature, Growing-on areas for container plants, Stop roots growing into the soil, Hardening off rooted cuttings
    • The greenhouse – Types of greenhouses, Heated or unheated, Deciding on what you need, Problems with greenhouses, Environmental controls in the greenhouse, Temperature control
    • Greenhouse irrigation methods, Runoff and leachate, Irrigation systems, Other structures for growing plants, The nursery site, How to propagate different species

    5  Dealing With Chemical Problems

    • Soil contamination
    • Symptoms on plants of chemical contamination
    • Foliage burn
    • Treating foliage burn
    • Rehabilitating damaged soils
    • Prevention
    • Accidental spillage
    • Rehabilitation methods
    • Using plants to extract contaminants
    • Growing plants on contaminated soil
    • Rehabilitating a building site
    • Soil chemical composition and plant growth
    • Alkaline soils
    • Lime contaminated soils
    • Trees which grow in lime soils

    6  Physical Plant Effects On Degraded Sites

    • Pioneer plants
    • Site protection – Windbreaks/shelterbelts, Windbreak design, Other considerations
    • Designing and planting a firebreak – Fire prone areas, How to arrange plants, Distances from buildings, Consider prevailing winds, Consider vehicular access, Maintenance, Fire resistant plants, Plants likely to burn
    • Stormwater, waterlogging and drainage – Stormwater
    • Drainage – Water-logging on a home-site, Constructing a swamp
    • Soil Compaction

    7  Plant Establishment Programs

    • What to plant where
    • Climate – Temperature, Wind, Frosts, Extreme hazards, Microclimates
    • Plant selection criteria, Economics, Ongoing costs, Longevity, General hardiness
    • Planting – When to plant
    • Plant protection methods – Supporting trees, Staking, Frost protection for young trees, Sun protection, Mulching, Fencing, Wind protection

    8  Hostile Environments

    • Planning
    • Rehabilitation techniques
    • Coping with dry conditions – Overcoming dry soils
    • Mulch – How to lay mulch, Mulch materials, Commonly used organic mulches, Living mulch and cover crops
    • Weed management – Types of weeds, How are weeds spread? Preventative measures, Weed control, Methods, Commonly used herbicides
    • Trees and large shrubs that tolerate salt
    • Plant species that tolerate salt

    9  Plant Establishment Care

    • Planting procedures – Evergreens, Deciduous and bare-rooted plants
    • Water and plant growth
    • Transpiration
    • Maintaining appropriate water levels
    • Symptoms of water deficiency
    • Symptoms of excess water
    • Period of watering
    • Minimizing plant water requirements
    • Plant health – Conducting an inspection
    • The Plant – Examining leaves, Examining fruit and flowers, Examining stem and branches, Examining roots, Identifying damage
    • The Immediate Environment – Examining the soil, Examining surrounding plants, Other environmental factors, Methods of inspection
    • Prioritizing problems
    • Research

    10 Rehabilitating Degraded Sites

    • Environmental Assessment – Conducting an Environmental Audit
    • Implementing a Land Rehabilitation Management Program – determining land

Lesson Aims

  • Compare different approaches to land rehabilitation, to determine strengths and weaknesses of alternative options on a site to be rehabilitated
  • Determine techniques to maximise plant development in land rehabilitation situations
  • Explain the different ways of producing seedling trees for land rehabilitation purposes
  • Determine appropriate plant establishment programs
  • Develop procedures to care for plants, during establishment in an hostile environment
  • Manage the rehabilitation of degraded soil
  • Explain the effect of plants on improving a degraded site, both physically and chemically

What You Will Do

  • Determine ten different examples of land degradation on sites visited by you.
  • Explain different reasons for land requiring rehabilitation, including:
    • Salination
    • Erosion
    • Mining
    • Grazing
    • Vegetation harvesting
    • Pests
    • Reduction of biodiversity
    • Soil contamination
    • Urbanisation
  • Compare the effectiveness of different policy approaches to land rehabilitation by different agencies and organisation, including:
  • Different levels of government
  • Mining companies
  • Developers
  • Conservation groups (i.e. tree planting bodies, landcare groups)
  • Develop a risk analysis for a specified site to be rehabilitated, by determining a variety of plant health problems which may impact on the success of plant establishment.
  • Analyse the failure of plants to grow successfully on a visited land rehabilitation site.
  • Develop a procedure to enhance the success rate of land rehabilitation plantings on a degraded site you visit.
  • Describe the use of mulches, to maximise plant condition in a specified land rehabilitation tree planting project.
  • Explain different processes of establishing seedlings on land rehabilitation sites, including:
    • tubestock nursery production
    • direct seeding
    • pre-germinated bare rooted seedlings.
  • Determine factors which affect the viability of establishing five different species of plant seedlings, from five different plant families; on a specific degraded site.
  • Compare the benefits of acquiring plants for a project by buying tubestock, with propagating and growing on, or close to, the planting site, with reference to:
    • costs
    • plant quality
    • local suitability
    • management.
  • Prepare production schedules for a plant species, using different propagation techniques, summarising all important tasks from collection of seed to planting out of the tubestock.
  • Calculate the cost of production for a tubestock plant, according to the production schedule developed by you.
  • Estimate the differences in per plant establishment costs, for tubestock, compared with direct seeding methods, for planting on a degraded site.
  • Describe three different methods of planting trees for rehabilitation purposes.
  • Describe different plant establishment techniques, including:
    • wind protection
    • frost protection
    • pest control
    • water management
    • weed management
  • Describe an appropriate method for preparing soil for planting, at a proposed land rehabilitation site in your locality.
  • Evaluate plant establishment techniques used by two different land rehabilitation programs inspected by you at least twelve months after planting was carried out.
  • Determine the needs of plants after planting, on two different proposed land rehabilitation sites.
  • Describe different, efficient ways, of catering to the needs of large numbers of plants after planting.
  • Collect pressed specimens or photographs of twenty trees for a herbarium of suitable trees for rehabilitation, and including information on the culture and care of each tree.
  • Describe different types of soil degradation, detected in your locality.
  • Determine the risk factors involved in soil degradation, relevant to your locality.
  • Compare two different alternative methods of treating each of three different soil degradation problems identified and inspected by you.
  • Develop an assessment form to use for evaluating the sensitivity of a site to land degradation.
  • Evaluate a site showing signs of degradation, selected by you, using the assessment form you developed.
  • Plan a rehabilitation program for the degraded site you evaluated, including:
    • a two year schedule of work to be completed
    • list of quantity and type of materials required
    • approximate cost estimates.
  • Explain the effect different plant species may have resisting soil degradation.
  • Explain how different plants can have different impacts upon the chemistry of their environment, including both air and soil.
  • Evaluate the significance of a group of plants, to the nature of the microclimate in which you find them growing.
  • Compare the appropriateness of twenty different plant species for different degraded sites.
  • Determine plant varieties, suited to each of six different degradation situations.

The importance of trees to land management cannot be overstated. Often in the past they have been seen as competing for valuable land space and felled indiscriminately. Over clearing of trees can lead to salinity problems and numerous forms of erosion and land slips. As we have become more familiar with their vital role in ecological processes, retention and selective planting of trees has been widely acknowledged, in improving farm viability and ultimately production. This course develops an understanding of environmental systems and the rehabilitation of degraded landscapes. You learn about seed collection, storage and germination, propagation, plant selection, establishment techniques, controlling pest and disease after planting.


Your learning experience with us will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Susan Stephenson and Andy Patterson. Your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout from these excellent teachers. Here are their credentials:


Susan Stephenson
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction. 

Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world.

Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design.

Susan is a Professional Associate and exam moderator and holds the RHS General with Distinction. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.

She also supervised the Area Arboriculture Team and was Exhumations Officer€“ in charge of collecting discovered remains and arranging identification (if poss) and interment of same.

Andy Patterson
PGCE Biological Sciences; Doctor of Naturopathy (pending); Registered Nutritional Therapist; Permaculture Design Consultant (PDC); BSc(Hons) Ecology.

Andy has been a biology and science teacher since 2002, and a natural health therapist since 1998. His original degree was in Ecology and is well experienced in the Life Sciences generally, from biology, medicine and clinical sciences to horticulture, ecology and the environment. he divides his time between a therapy clinic; teaching, tutoring & lecturing. Andy is a passionate believer in the power of education to transform people’s lives, and gives 100% support to helping students achieve their goal.

Andy has worked as a Biology lecturer in a number of post age 16 colleges, and 11-18 year age schools across the country during a 13 year career. This has included work as an Assessor for exam boards, 1 on 1 tutoring, working with small groups and whole classes. He worked on an award winning national Nuffield- STEM initiative using innovative educational techniques to develop sustainability awareness with KS3 school children. He has also managed a large vocational science area in a busy college and developed a successful Premedical curriculum which has helped many students on to successful medical careers

Price: £340
Qualification: Certificate
Estimated Course Duration: 100 hours
Available Learning Methods: Online, USB (+£5) and Correspondence (+£35)
Enrolment Dates: Our courses are self-paced and you can start at anytime

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