From the moment a seed germinates, it responds to its environment. If left alone it will grow primarily to what its genetic code dictates and secondly to the external environment it experiences throughout its life. It can’t get up and move – it either adapts to its environment or it dies. There is no other choice. It doesn’t care what it looks like, what form it has or how rare it is. Its role is to grow and adapt to its environment. If it lives long enough to reach maturity, it will sexually reproduce, pass adaptations on to its progeny and then die to make way for the next generation – all to ensure the survival of the species. We on the other hand have many more expectations of trees we plant in our parks and gardens. We plant for shelter, shade, erosion, rarity, but mostly for a pleasant landscape. Every time we work with or around a tree, we have the potential to employ practices which either help or harm it. Everything we do to a young tree has a bearing on what it will be like as a mature tree.