Trees and children – A symbiotic relationship
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Trees have many benefits. There are very specific benefits that they can offer to children, amongst these are their ability to enhance the education and development of children. Trees at early childhood centres present many opportunities and staff often use trees and plants as learning tools.
What do we mean by this? Trees can introduce children to the idea of changes in the environment during different seasons, teach them where their food comes from, or just be a natural climbing frame for them to play on.
Three things you need to know if work in an early childhood centre
Like everything in life, trees also have inherent risks.
This piece will help inform day care centres (or any other businesses open to the public) of their responsibilities regarding trees on their site and what can be done about them.
Understanding legal obligations with Trees
As an owner of, or staff member at, a daycare centre, you have a legal obligation to ensure no one comes to harm on your property.
As this pertains to trees, you need to have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that no one can be harmed by trees on your property. This could be from tree-related accidents that happen on the property itself or by trees, or parts of trees that fall out of your property.
Perform regular tree inspections to support tree care in your early childhood centre
Some tree failures have clear warning signs that precede them. Other forms of tree failure can occur with little warning.
As a tree owner in a public place you need to show that you have taken all reasonably practical steps to ensure your trees adequately safe. The best way to do this is to have them inspected by a suitably qualified and experienced Arborist.
Regular tree inspection by a qualified and experienced Arborist reduces the chance of tree failure occurring. A record of the tree inspections is kept which is evidence of you showing due diligence should anything happen.
Maintain and protect your trees – put tree care first at your centre
There are also some actions you can take yourself as a tree owner to help look after your trees.
As always, a 50mm deep layer of well-rotted wood mulch will really benefit your trees, especially if there will be lots of little footsteps compacting the ground beneath them.
Making sure your trees have adequate water during the dry months will also help. If you are going to attach any ropes or toys from the tree, make sure it is done in a way that does not harm the tree.
Are you worried you have a dangerous tree? This article written by our experienced team can help you to understand the potential problems and issues. If in doubt – always call us, never wait. https://www.proclimb.co.nz/is-my-tree-dangerous/
At Pro Climb, we offer regular tree services for ECE owners or day care centres or anyone with trees that could be a threat to the public.
We can map your tree stock, assess their condition, and advise you on future management. This could include remedial pruning works, removal, or suggestions for replanting.
Contact us for advice or an assessment.
How can trees enhance the education and development of children?
Trees can enhance the education and development of children by introducing them to the concepts of seasonal changes and food sources and providing a natural environment for play and exploration.
What steps should early childhood centres take to ensure tree safety?
Early childhood centres should ensure tree safety by conducting regular inspections by qualified Arborists, keeping records of the inspections, and taking necessary actions such as pruning, removal, or replanting based on professional advice.