Useful information and easy-to-understand definitions relating to Elemental Designs’ business. In a nutshell, things you need to know.

Learn about the most common tree infections in the UK, as well as the most frequently used landscape design terms (below).  At Elemental Designs, we’re here to help.

Horse Chestnut Canker

Unfortunately, horse chestnut canker is on the rise in the whole of the UK.  It affects trees of all ages.  Notably, younger trees are at particular risk, with older trees liable to disfigurement.


  • These include “bleeding” areas on tree stems as well as on scaffold branches. Experts think that its causes could be our recent mild winters and wet springs.  Here’s the Latin bit:  this disease is linked to a bacterium species known as Pseudomonas syringae Aesculin

Ash dieback disease

Ash dieback is also known as Chalara dieback of ash.  Unfortunately, this is a serious disease that normally results in the death of the tree.  It goes without saying that as these tall, graceful trees are home to several species of wildlife, this disease is causing great concern.

Also, young trees are particularly susceptible and tend to die quickly.

Symptoms (mainly noticeable in Summer)

  • Dark lesions become visible, and tips of shoots become black and shrivelled. Veins and stalks of leaves, normally pale in colour turn brown and saplings have dead tops and side shoots.  In older trees there is dieback of twigs and branches in the crown.

Xylella Fastidiosa

This is a serious bacterial disease.  It damages the water transport system of the plant.  Currently wreaking havoc on olive trees in Europe, bacteria is transmitted by insects feeding on the fluids in the stem of the plant.

Although more common in continental Europe than the UK due the its warmer climate, there is still considerable risk with imported trees.

Acute Oak Decline

Affecting mature English and Sessile oak trees, acute oak decline is a relatively recent disease.  It only established itself in the UK about 30 years ago.    Unfortunately, some trees die within 4-6 years of showing symptoms of the disease.


  • Affected trees display vertical weeping gaps with stems bleeding black fluid down the trunk.

General Landscape Design Terms and Gardening Glossary

Read more about the most commonly used terms in the world of landscape and garden design.

Landscape Master Plan

As it sounds, A landscape master plan, is a general plan.  It covers all the features that designers anticipate in an external space or garden.   It describes how the designer has drawn up and created the space to meet all your needs.  Therefore, it will give you a strong idea of what the garden will actually look like.  To demonstrate, this plan outlines details such as paving, walls and fencing.  Also, it may include details of trees, shrubs, turf, landscapes, lighting and external furnishings.

To make life easier, Elemental Designs may use 3D visuals and images to bring your vision to life.

Landscape Layout and Quantities Plan

This plan includes an outline of the agreed design.

It details changes in ground levels, measurements of proposed features and the estimated quantities of all the materials that the builders will need to construct  the garden. This plan outlines the name, position and number of each new plant, together with the position of any existing plants that will remain in the space.    This plan predicts plants achieving their maximum spread within five years.  So, when first planted, it may look a little bare.

However, you can trust that it will grow and develop to fill the space correctly.  The Landscape Layout and Quantities plan also includes a detailed plant list.  This enables the estimated plant budget to be accurately costed from the outset.

Planning Discharge Conditions

This is one of the most important landscape design terms.

For many outdoor spaces, local planning authorities require robust sets of information for their review and approval.  In general, after the authority has granted outline permission, they will need a wide range of detailed landscape drawings for final approval.

These must show the location of all existing and planned landscape details, such as pathways, driveways and so on. They will also require details of soft planting, including the name, type and number of plants required at the time of planting and details as to how the boundary fences/areas will be managed.

Plant Schedule

This is an inventory of everything to do with the vegetation within the proposed commission.  A plant schedule details the types, location and quantity of everything that will be planted, including a planned size of the plant at the time of purchase.

This document is very specific but should be easy to interpret and understand. It can also include an in-depth annual maintenance plan.