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					Loss of Street Trees – Contents

Ref.                 Organisation/Person                             Page. LS/001
              Trees for Cities                                 1–2
LS/002                       Council of Mortgage Lenders                             2–
LS/003                       Forestry Commission                                     3–
LS/004                       Government Office for London                  5
LS/005                       Newcastle City Council                        6 – 32
LS/006                       Canary Wharf Management Ltd                   33 – 36
LS/007                       Duraman Tree Care                             37
LS/008                       Birmingham Council                            38 – 39
LS/009                       Sheila Shannon                                39 – 40
LS/010                       Terence C. Jolley                             40
LS/011                       London Borough of Hounslow                    41 – 43
LS/012                       City of London                                43 – 44
LS/013                       Westminster Council                           44 – 45
LS/014                       Groundwork UK (London)                        46 - 50
LS/015                       Manchester City Council                       50 – 53
LS/016                       Green Scene – London Borough of Lewisham                53
– 57
LS/017                       Street Tree Ltd                               57 – 59
LS/018                       London Borough of Havering                              60
– 61
LS/019                       Royal Parks                                   61 – 62
LS/020                       London Borough of Hackney                               63
– 64
LS/021                       London Borough of Islington                             64
– 65
LS/022                       Natural England – London Region               65 – 66
LS/023                       London Borough of Redbridge                             67
– 68
LS/024                       Outdoor Advertising Association               69
LS/025                       London Borough of Greenwich                   70 – 72
LS/026         Lovejoy                                      73 – 78
LS/027         London Borough of Hillingdon                 79 – 80
LS/028         Dr Richard Stow                              80 – 82
LS/029         English Heritage                             83 – 89
LS/030         The London Trees and Woodlands Framework            89
– 94
LS/031         London Borough of Barnet                     94 – 95
LS/032         Greater London Authority                     97 – 100
LS/033         London Borough of Bromley                    100 – 103
Ref.     Organisation/Person                        Page.
LS/034         Liverpool City Council                              103
– 104
LS/035         London Borough of Ealing                     104 – 106
LS/036         London Borough of Haringey                          106
– 108
LS/037         London Borough of Camden                     109 – 111
LS/038         Transport for London                                111
– 114
LS/039         London Development Agency                           114
– 115
LS/040         London Borough of Brent                      116 – 117
LS/041         London Tree Officers Association             118 – 120
LS/042         London Borough of Croydon                           120
– 122
LS/043         Tequila – London                             122
LS/044         Enfield Council                              123
LS/045         Ray Weston                                   124
LS/046         Julian Adams                                 124
LS/047         Bellenden Residents' Group                   125
LS/048         Lesley Smith                                 126
LS/049         Gwyn Calley                                  127
LS/050         Ged Gardiner                                 128 – 129
LS/051         Lesley Corti                                 130
LS/052         Association of British Insurers                     130
LS/053         Tony Michael                                          131
– 132
LS/054         Gareth Watkins                                 132
LS/055         Bexley Civic Society                           133
LS/056         Graham Bartram                                 133 – 134
LS/057         Velda Lewis                                    135
LS/058         Martin Wright                                         135
– 136
LS/059         Simon Kempson                                  136 – 137
LS/060         Andrea Höfling                                 137
LS/061         Kathleen Gibb                                         138
LS/062         Peter Eversden                                 138
LS/063         DJ Sustainability                              139
LS/064         Chris Mullet                                   139 – 140
LS/065         Dianne Rippon                                  140
LS/066         Northumberland Heath Community Forum                  140
– 145
LS/067         Landscape Planning Ltd                         146 – 154
Ref.     Organisation/Person                          Page.
LS/068         Hoxton Manor Allotment Site                           155
– 156
LS/069         Knightsbridge Association                      156 - 157
LS/070         Evangeline Karn                                157
Loss of Street Trees - Written Evidence


Trees for Cities

Written Evidence – Loss of Street Trees Investigation

1) Loss of street trees:

We have received anecdotal evidence of a loss of street trees in London, particularly
through our experience of working with local authority tree officers many of whom have
said informally to us that they believe more street trees are being lost than planted. Trees
for Cities produces a report annually for the London Biodiversity Partnership on the
number of new trees planted each year in London as part of our Million Trees Campaign
and this does include some breakdown of data by type of planting location (eg street, park,
woodland, housing, etc). However there is no similar report compiled by us, or any other
organisation that we are aware of, on the number of trees lost each year - if a relatively
small amount of grant funding was made available to Trees for Cities, we would be pleased
to also compile a report of this nature.

In terms of the reasons for the loss of street trees, again we do not compile hard data but
our experience working across a wide range of London boroughs suggests that the
competence and motivation of local authority tree officers and availability of resources are
the key issues. Local authority tree officers are, we understand, increasingly under pressure
to remove street trees due to subsidence-related issues and potential health and safety issues
(eg pavement lift). We would highlight Westminster as an area of high competence and
best practice where every reasonable effort is made to save the tree, whilst sadly this is
not the case with all London boroughs.

Hard data that Trees for Cities compiles on street trees that we plant (and maintain through
the three year establishment period) is that vandalism is only a very minor cause of loss,
despite the perceived threat of vandalism (however this may be because of the resources and
effort that we put into involving the local community, particularly young people, in areas
where we are planting trees; we would like to see all new tree planting in London supported
by activities to engage the local community). However a few of our trees are lost to "white
van man" every year and for this reason our policy is to install tree guards on all our newly-
planted street trees. We lose very few of our newly planted trees through drought and put
this down to an effective watering regime from April to October through the three year
establishment period - with the longer, hotter summers associated with climate change, it is
becoming increasingly important to water newly planted street trees and we are concerned
that some authorities do not have adequate watering regimes and prefer instead to
allow newly planted trees to die through drought and then replace.

Another contributory factor to the (perceived) net loss of street trees is the availability of
space for planting replacement and other new trees. This is partly due to the nature of
London's streets (eg width of pavement, underground cellars and underground utility
services) however Trees for Cities is also concerned that the planting specification set by
Transport for London is making it very difficult to find locations on routes managed by
Transport for London. Normally Trees for Cities works to a 1 square metre specificiation
for a tree pit in the street and our experience is that this works very successfully;

however Transport for London's tree pit specification is 2 square metres which obviously
limits the number of available locations for street tree planting.

2) Tree species:

Londoners can be thankful that our Victorian ancestors had the foresight to plant large,
distinctive species on highways (eg London Plane, Lime) and these are now an important
part of London's landscape. We do not have hard data on species being planted across
London but our concern, based on anecdotal evidence, is that there seems to be a shift away
from large species trees (probably based on fear of litigation regarding subsidence and
health and safety issues) to smaller species such as Ornamental Pear. Whilst Trees for
Cities is pleased to see any type of tree planted and we recognise the importance of planting
the right tree in the right place, we believe that opportunities should be taken to plant
larger species where appropriate.

Climate change is already starting to impact on our species selection for trees Trees for
Cities is planting (ie we are moving away from trees with shallow root systems to those
with deeper root systems) and we understand that the Forestry Commission is
currently preparing a report that will look at this issue specifically for London.

3) Social, environmental and economic benefits:

Part of Trees for Cities' role is to actively promote the social, environmental and economic
benefits of trees in urban areas (which are significant and widespread), and I would refer you
to our Trees Matter Report which was published in 2006 and brings together all known
quantified data on the benefits of urban trees - please

I hope that you, Darren and the Committee will find our comments useful and if you would
like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,

Graham Simmonds
Chief Executive
Trees for Cities


Dear Mr Davies

I am responding to Mr Johnson‟s letter of 15 December to Michael Coogan asking for our
views on street trees.

There is no general policy on street trees and it will be for individual lenders to decide on
mortgage applications on an individual basis. I have canvassed views from a number of
lenders in preparing this response.

As you may be aware it is a standard condition of all mortgages that standard buildings
insurance covering normal insured perils, including subsidence, is in place. Lenders will
generally consider that if insurers are happy to insure a particular property then it is safe to

offer a mortgage. I assume you have also asked the Association of British Insurers to
respond to your investigation.

Lenders will often ask valuers to comment on the presence of large trees near to houses, not
solely in London, and may point out that they can pose a threat if not properly managed.
Given the maturity of many of the street trees and the age of the adjacent houses, there is
often an element of "harmony" between the two. If any issues were to arise it is likely that
most cases involve lopping rather than felling of trees deemed to be a contributory factor to
movement - especially as they may be on clay and therefore there is the risk of heave. It
would be very rare for lenders to request the removal of a tree.

From a saleability perspective a tree-lined street may have a positive impact on property
value and saleability, but this depends upon how close the trees are to the property and
whether there are negative influences such as structural and insurance issues and
maintenance matters (not just the tree itself but also the property - gutter clearance,
encouragement of additional moss and debris on a nearby roof, etc). A tree can also be
negative if it shades the property to a great extent.

In conclusion therefore street trees are not a significant factor when deciding on the
mortgageability of a property.

Jackie Bennett
Head of policy
Council of Mortgage Lenders


Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Darren Johnson's letter of 15th December. I
would also like to add that the Forestry Commission welcomes this investigation which is
both timely and potentially of considerable importance.

The Forestry Commission has increased its support for tree and woodland issues within
London over the last few years because of the increasing understanding of the social and
environmental benefits to the city. The London Tree and Woodland Framework, which was
prepared and launched by the GLA and the Forestry Commission, has stimulated this
interest and hopefully encouraged the protection and management of this valuable resource.
However, London is a rapidly changing city and issues such as climate warming, and the
implications to its residents and their lifestyle, make it essential that we are willing to make
long term decisions - the trees planted today will be growing and maturing in a very
different environment.

The interests of the Forestry Commission are largely centred on woodlands and the need to
encourage better management and increased public usage. However, in London we have
been encouraging better management of street trees through a number of initiatives. These
include the support, with the GLA, of the London Tree and Woodland Framework
Manager and though our new pilot grant scheme, the London Woodland Grant Scheme.
The LWGS is directly aimed at new tree and woodland work which maximises the social,
environmental and economic benefits, particularly in those areas where this will have
greatest impact.

In response to your specific questions, much of this will be detailed through the response of
the LTWF Manager. However, I do have a few comments as follows:-

   We do not have specific proof of loss of street trees but anecdotal evidence seems to suggest
    that this may well be the case. A better understanding of the issue would be welcome and, if
    it is occurring, a survey of the reasons. The LTOA would be a good starting point. As a side
    issue, we would like to stress the need to ensure that trees whether as part of the street
    structure or within pedestrian areas are seen as an integral part of any new developments in
    the future.
   Trees can provide an identity and character to a city. This was clearly understood by the
    Victorian planners within London. Their legacy has been one of splendid 'Forest-type' trees
    in parklands and avenues. These are features which the people can identify with and provide
    not only enhanced landscaping and individuality but also better shading with clear
    advantages for health and quality of life. Again, without hard statistical facts it is difficult to
    be precise about the change in street species in more recent years, but anecdotally it would
    appear that low maintenance species are much more the species of choice. Lightly branched,
    smaller trees are being chosen for obvious management and safety reasons. However, we
    must guard against this becoming the norm and try to encourage more 'character' trees to
    be planted wherever this is practicable
   The substantial social, environmental and economic benefits of trees in cities is increasingly
    being understood. There are a number of scientific papers from both America and the UK
    which provide undeniable proof to this fact. Quality of life, health, reduced personal stress
    and better living and working conditions. These all have a multiplier effect on the economy
    and well being of the city. Even more important is the need to consider expected climate
    change and energy requirements - the need for reduced air conditioning costs, flood control
    etc. Trees have a significant part to play and should be a primary consideration in any
    design for a future London.
   The Forestry Commission is closely involved in the Growth Area work within the Thames
    Gateway (and other growth points). Together with other government and non-government
    bodies we are identifying and promoting the value of trees and woodlands as part of a
    diverse open space policy within new development areas to provide increased recreational
    and biodiversity benefits.
   The London Tree and Woodland Framework has been a major document in the promotion
    of street trees and woodlands. It has undoubtedly stimulated a greater understanding and
    begun to direct finances and resources (albeit limited) to where they matter most. It has
    assisted in achieving a HLF grant through the Capital Woodlands Project and has also
    resulted in increasing the Forestry Commission involvement within London. Perhaps most
    importantly it identified the need for a managing officer, dedicated to developing the role of
    trees and woodlands throughout the capital who is now in post supported by the GLA and
    the FC.

    Thank you again for the opportunity to comment on the proposed investigation and I look
    forward to working with you to further the excellent relationship which our organisations
    have developed over the last few years.
    Yours sincerely,

    Ron Melville
    Forestry Commission


Dear Richard

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Darren Johnson's letter of 15 December. This
is an important piece of work reflecting the growing recognition of the role of trees within
our urban landscape.

There are many important environmental issues affecting London both now and in the
future. Most importantly is the potential effect of climate change and the need to adapt our
city and lifestyle to mitigate the resulting problems. It is essential that we make long-term
decisions and trees, both street and woodland, have an important part to play in any future

In response to your specific questions:-

   We do not have specific proof of loss of street trees but anecdotal evidence seems to
    suggest that this may well be the case. A better understanding of the issue would be

   Trees can provide an identity and character to a city. There are also considerable
    benefits for the health and wellbeing of those who live and work in urban areas.
    However, there appears to be a greater tendency to plant low maintenance species
    which are being chosen for obvious management and safety reasons. However, we must
    guard against this becoming the norm and try to encourage more 'character' trees to be
    planted wherever this is practicable.

   The substantial social, environmental and economic benefits of trees in cities is
    increasingly being understood. These include quality of life, health, reduced personal
    stress and better living and working conditions. Even more important is the need to
    consider expected climate change and energy requirements - the need for reduced air
    conditioning costs, flood control etc. Trees have a significant part to play and should be
    a primary consideration in any design for a future London.

   The London Tree and Woodland Framework has been a major document in the
    promotion of street trees and woodlands. It has undoubtedly stimulated a greater
    understanding and begun to direct finances and resources (albeit limited) to where they
    matter most. It has assisted in achieving a HLF grant through the Capital Woodlands
    Project and has also resulted in increasing the Forestry Commission involvement
    within London. Perhaps most importantly it identified the need for a managing officer,
    dedicated to developing the role of trees and woodlands throughout the capital who is
    now in post supported by the GLA and the FC.

Thank you again for the opportunity to comment on the proposed investigation and I look
forward to working with you to further the role of trees and woodlands in London.

Yours sincerely

Liz Meek
Regional Director
Government Office for London


                          Newcastle City Council
                       Planning and Transportation

                     Response to London Assembly questions

                                    January 2007


  1      Has there been a loss of street trees in Newcastle? If so what are the
         reasons and what is the impact of this loss?
  A      There has been a long term sustained loss of mature street trees in Newcastle.
         Our Highways Asset Management Plan estimates that 400 have been lost over the
         last 5 years and have not been replaced. The plan also acknowledges a major
         funding gap between the sum available to carry out essential maintenance and
         removal of trees on highway land and the sum required to make good the losses
         and implement a good management plan. (The plan is available on Newcastle
         Council‟s website)

         Main reasons for street tree loss:
             Highway improvement and widening schemes
             Ageing tree stock, many planted over 100 years ago with increasing
               vulnerability to infection etc
             Root damage by services excavations, surfacing of verges to create
               parking and footway alterations and repairs, leading to slow but
               irreversible decline.
             Damage by vehicles, causing weakened resistance to infection and root
             Fungal decay (Ganoderma butt rot of whitebeams, very widely planted
               in the mid C20, is a major cause for concern currently)
             Summer drought and/or waterlogging are particular factors for newly
               planted or young street trees.
             Winter salt application.
             Increased provision of driveways or fully paved frontages. (Note: This is
               not normally a reason for removing an existing healthy, mature tree but
               often prevents finding a suitable location for replacement planting.)

         Main impacts:
             Loss of character and distinctiveness. (E.g. Newcastle Town Moor‟s
               classic double tree lines, Conservation Areas, areas of townscape value,
               rural hedge and verge trees.)
             Alleged reduction in property values.
             Increasing complaints from the local community, particularly if trees are
               removed without notice, without giving reasons and without
             The need to identify a source of funding for replacement planting and
               better tree care generally

          Visible evidence of missing trees: stumps left, gaps in verges and paving,
           depressions in reinstated paving.
          Noticeable gaps in tree lines and avenues
          Inappropriate replacement planting, by Council and sometimes by
           residents, using trees that are of different habit, size and form to the
          Inappropriate and often inadequate planting specification and
           establishment maintenance, evidenced by large numbers of dead young
           street trees.
          Increasing parking on verges. (Note: This can be a vicious circle. Grass
           verges are “rogue parked” causing deep muddy ruts and difficult mowing.
           Public pressure to address damaged and untidy verges may result in
           tarmac or other paving treatment. Trees die or are removed. Paved
           verges are neither footway nor carriageway so parking is not illegal or
           controlled. Highway engineers favour their use to get parked cars off the
           road and assist vehicle movement. With cars parked off the road in
           residential streets, this allows greater speed and traffic calming has to be
          A small saving to the Local Highway Authority in terms of less street
           trees means there is less public liability and less expense to the Council
           on essential maintenance.

2   What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which
    types have proved most suitable for Newcastle’s street environment?
    Which types of trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any
    effects from climate change?
A   Replacement species are many and varied as are the locations for street trees.
    One size does not fit all. Some have proved suitable and many more have not.
    There is much debate about the “ideal” street tree, which of course does not exist.
    Strong views are expressed from officers, elected members and the public about
    whether to plant large scale “forest” trees or small ornamental species, exotics or
    native, berrying, flowering, deciduous or evergreen, or indeed no trees at all.
    Everyone has a different view but there is an oft repeated concensus that the
    Council must plant “the right trees” in “the right place”.

    There is a list of recommended street tree species in Newcastle‟s recently
    adopted (2006) standard details and specification for street tree planting, a
    collection of tried and tested details for Newcastle.
    Much success has been experienced with fastigiate hornbeam. The tree has a
    narrow fastigiated form and its “bushy” habit seems to deter vandals. It would
    however be unsatisfactory to restrict all street tree planting to this or a very
    small range of species.

    Newcastle Council is preparing a Climate Change Strategy. The need for an
    evaluation of climate impact on trees and other vegetation has been identified
    for inclusion. This work has yet to be done. Certain species may no longer be
    able to tolerate the future climate of Newcastle‟s streets.

3   What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
A   Social:

    People like and value them.
    Sense of place, identity.
    Provide colour and seasonal change
    Connection with nature
    Encourage birds and birdsong, valued by many people.
    Pleasant outlook from buildings
    Visual relief, scale and screening of eyesores
    On streets, trees and planting can help encourage speed control and traffic
    calming. (E.g. Home Zones.)
    Stress reduction

    Shade in summer heatwaves
    Filter and/or absorb dust and pollutants
    Carbon reduction to some extent.
    Habitats and food source for wildlife, including protected and BAP target
    species. (Birds, Red squirrel, bats, invertebrates)
     Slowing of rainfall runoff and greater absorption and retention of water in the
    Contribution to improving air quality
    Shelter from cold winds, storms.
    Leaf mulch

    Attractive and encouraging to potential investors and employers
    Provide recognisable “gateway” features at transport hubs, airports, rail stations
    Prestigious settings for new business and development
    Enhance and encourage regeneration initiatives
    Small scale business opportunities for sustainable use of tree timber, pruning
    arisings and leaves.
    Work and training opportunities in the arboricultural field
    Reduced heating costs
    Increased council tax bills
    Lower health costs

4   What best practice exists in the management of street trees

A   Tree Warden Scheme
    Tree Strategy (Please refer to “Trees Newcastle” A Tree Strategy for Newcastle
    upon Tyne.)
    Standard Details for Street Tree Planting in Newcastle upon Tyne
    Consultants‟ report on Highway Trees in Gosforth,
    (Note: all to be found on Newcastle Council‟s website. )

5   What improvements, if any could be made to policies regarding street
A   Residents and elected members in Newcastle have been increasingly pressing for
    better information, consultation and management of street trees. There was a
    strong demand for a wider, facilitated public debate and the result was the public
    forum “Street Trees: An Endangered Species?” held on 11 October 2006 with a

capacity audience. A summary is attached and more details of the presentations,
workshop sessions and feedback are available. (Please contact Liz Bray. Tel 0191
211 5660 or email The event proved beyond doubt
that the Council needs better policies, management and funding for its street
trees and needs to address the outstanding replacements. The first Tree Strategy
Action Plan expired at the close of 2006 and the street trees issues will be given
more prominence and coverage in the second action plan, now in preparation and
intended to extend from 2007 to 2011. Policy improvements and actions
suggested by those attending the event will be carefully and rigorously evaluated
and where appropriate included in the Tree Strategy.

                                         ANNEXE 1


  Wednesday 11 October 2006 at the Magpie Suite, St James Park, Newcastle upon

Who attended?
There was a capacity audience for this evening event. 139 people signed the attendance list,
but we know there quite a few more. The event organisers and sponsors were therefore
delighted with the turnout which illustrates a genuine interest and concern about street

There were numerous representatives from other local authorities and agencies across the
North East, many local tree officers, landscape architects from the public and private sector.
The local and wider community and special interest groups were strongly represented,
again with people from across the region: for example Alnwick Civic Society, the
Northumberland and Newcastle Society, North East Biodiversity Forum and Living Streets,
to name but a few.

Who didn’t attend?
It was noticeable that there were very few from the highways and engineering side, and no
developers. The majority who attended were strongly in favour of street trees: there were
no dissenting voices, though we are still aware that not everyone likes or wants street trees

The event: its aims and its programme
The evening was planned to enable a public debate about street trees. It was deliberately
pitched beyond just being about Newcastle and the idea was to allow those attending to
hear about street trees from a broad range of different perspectives.

Chris Baines; freelance environmental campaigner, writer and broadcaster gave the
evening a sparkling and passionate start, looking at the many benefits (obvious and not so
obvious) of street trees and urban trees generally. He drew our attention to the “woodland
glade “ habitat of many established residential suburbs and the range of wildlife that these
areas support. He described the vital role for trees in addressing challenges like climate
change, air quality, health, flood control for example, as well as being much loved for their
own sake.

Landscape architects Kirstie Mawhinney and Jon Eachus from local practice Insite
Environments explained their recent work with a residents panel in the Gosforth
Conservation Area looking at how to achieve better practice with tree surveys,
management, replacement planting and the way we treat the pavement around the base of
street trees.

Hull City Council Tree Officer Tim Beckley described the particular issues there: where
the city has a generous 20,000 trees with many of these in grass verges. Hull does have
subsidence problems and Tim highlighted the difficulties of retaining street trees in historic
areas, where loss of trees would mean loss of intrinsic character.

Wandsworth London Borough Council Tree Officer Gerry Birtles is responsible for
14,000 trees, almost all in very confined paved spaces in narrow residential streets, and not
many grass verges. Wandsworth has acknowledged the amenity value of its street trees in
its strategy to address subsidence claims and maintenance costs.

Councillor Wendy Taylor is the Executive Member on Newcastle City Council with
responsibility for Environment and Sustainability. She showed us the trees that are
important in her own ward and went on to explain Newcastle‟s priorities for trees as set out
in the forthcoming Sustainability Charter. She recommended we all make efforts to listen to
local residents more.

Paul Bennison is a local resident in the Grange area of Newcastle. As an urban
designer by profession, he has been active within his own local community challenging
decisions about street trees in his neighbourhood and seeking better solutions to the
problems. Paul also chaired the event throughout.

                          WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

After the presentations there was round the table discussion with facilitators so that those
attending could reflect on what they had heard and share opinions and ideas. Everyone was
encouraged to fill in their suggestions for what needs to happen: things that authorities and
agencies should be doing as well as things that individuals could do.

There were 80 completed feedback forms and these have now been analysed. The most
frequently mentioned tasks for authorities and agencies to address are maintenance and
management in top position, replacement planting and better tree protection in joint second
place, third better design and fourth more funding. Many people mentioned the need for
more awareness-raising both for themselves and for the authorities to do. Taking action like
reporting local tree problems, writing to the local council, pressing for strategies,
management plans or tree warden schemes also had frequent mentions in individual actions,
as well as promises to plant trees in front gardens and to help water newly planted street

There is clearly an expectation that we will go somewhere from here – and there are
suggestions that Newcastle and the NE region are well placed to lead this initiative. We
have contact details for 55 people who wish to receive feedback from the meeting and
information about street trees in future.

                          WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

Please write down three things that you think should be done by authorities and agencies
who are responsible for street trees?

What?                                                        By who?
More funding for tree management staff i.e. tree officers.   Central Government
More Protective Orders put in place (TPO)                    Central and Local Government
Understand the space required per tree species               All
Consider the proposed purpose of the tree and the time       All
scale/growth rate
Accept that some trees are life expired and need             Residents
Minimum standard for planting will provide trees with a      Residents
limited life
Increase funding for maintenance/replanting                  LA Councillors
Understand the space required per tree species               All
Residents to decide what risk is acceptable to them.         Residents/Local Authority
Tree surveys                                                 Arb Ord/xxx Inspector
Care and maintenance of tree, looking out for particularly   Residents – tree in gardens
damage/infection and appropriate action.                     Council – streets
                                                             Metro – Metro routes
Dedicated tree budget – ring fenced                          Local Authority
Maintain records of trees and management, including          Council
adequate planting space.
Highway engineers more informed to help make their        Education and penalties
Choice of appropriate trees for setting when planting new Planning Officers need
trees or replacing old trees                              knowledge of what mature tree
                                                          looks like and space it needs.
Raise awareness of trees in the environment
Care for trees                                            Residents
Tree replacement and planting strategy. Mixed planting Council/Residents
Replant trees where trees have to be removed as result of
disease/end of life
Maintain trees – preserve at all costs                    Local Authority
Maintain in accordance with a strategy and plan           Whoever is responsible usually
                                                          Local Authority
Determine a national best practice guidelines for         British Insurance Companies
accepting risk due to trees
Provide training for tree wardens                         City Council
Take a more holistic approach between departments         Council Depts
when developing projects
Urban development plans to take photographic              Strategic Planners
information of tree population
Preservation                                              Council
Make an explicit reasonable commitment to care for        The Council
existing trees and planting new trees
Invest in street trees provision and management           Local Authorities - Developers
Oppose requests for tree removal                          City Council

Good inventory keeping so we know exactly what we            City Council
Adopt a strategy for replacement                             Local Authorities
Replace area/diseased street trees                           Local Authorities
Issues presented by C Bain need to be filtered down to all
Promote and market that having street trees is a good        Authorities and Agencies
thing                                                        involved
Replant and replace at least as fast as trees die/are
Improve budgets for treescape preservation                   Local & National Government
Determine an accurate and useful measure for „tree value‟    Local Government supported
including quality of life                                    by expert opinions
Develop materials for use in schools                         Officers of Council, Tree
                                                             Wardens, teachers, parents

Design trees into the proposal not after services,           Government agencies -
pavements, roads etc have been designated                    developers
Consider carbon exchange benefits and sales as part of       Councils – Central
Council policy                                               Government
Make highway conservation areas to ensure utilities          Local Authority
advise local authority of work taking place
Talk about trees in local papers etc                         Interested residents and Action
Replacing dead tree                                          Council
Respect leafy suburbs                                        Council
Review enforcement now – the process of a street notice      The Council
as a means to highlight felling a tree is geared towards
making that, rather than any other action happen
Review Council costs, quotes for planting a tree. I have     The Council
been told £2,000. Have seen Council workmen at work –
the Council are being ripped off.
Engage with service companies to increase awareness of       Energy and service providers
potential damage
Record our stock to improve management                       Local Authorities
Maintain trees in good health (tree warden scheme?)          City Council – maybe
Plant trees in NE4 especially Elswick & New Mills            City Council
If any trees have to be felled because of disease then       City Council
replacement must be planted
Impose conditions on public utilities to take are or         Central Government
redirect services                                            Legislation
Pick litter out of City Centre Canopies                      Local Authority/landowner
Replace dead/diseased street trees                           Local Authorities

Have a coordinated approach to management of street         Local Authorities
Resist removal of trees for urban redevelopment             Local Authorities
Proper maintenance                                          LA/HA/PCs
Proper traffic and other management measures to protect     LA/HA
street trees
A system of reporting like street lighting                  LA
Write green space strategy or woodland strategy             Council
Use trees that can survive future climate                   Council/gardens
Re-invigorate community forester
Understand first, then plan                                 Local Authorities/Local
Strategic planning for new planting on neighbourhood        Las
Propaganda! Tell the good news to counter the „fellers‟ –   Las/Local Communities
need this to do so effectively
Better management of existing tree stock to avoid           Authorities – enforcement of
situation of over mature, often disease planted areas       management
which then require drastic measures to bring into good      Landowners
Stricter development control with a more wider view i.e.    Authorities
ensuring existing & proposed services and traffic
movement do not drive proposals for new tree planting
Better control over companies such as NEDL who seem         Authorities
to dig up wherever or whenever they please with little
Strengthening tree preservation orders and heavier          Government/change to
penalties for damage/loss                                   national policy
Amendments to PPG/PPS to give more support to street        Government/change to
trees/greening urban landscapes                             national policy
Conditions – root barriers and minimum planting             Local Planning Authorities
numbers should be recommended as part of planning
process (more often) for future benefit
Mapping age and size of trees on public land                LA
Assess tree cover in wider urban area as part of mapping    LA (who else can do it?)
green spaces.
Regular maintenance of exiting trees                        City Council
New planting wherever possible in new development           New developers and City
Keep insurance claims in perspective! Do not chop down      City Council
all the trees because of one claim!
Get local communities involved in street trees              Local Authorities
Get schools involved with trees in local areas              Schools/LA
Greater attention to trees in general                       Council
More variety of suitable trees                              Council
Always replant when street trees are cut down               Local Authorities
Developers should plant avenue trees                        Developers – enforced by

Policy for service trench location – replacement species      The Council in collaboration
planted in defined trench to allow tree planting - Leeds      with utilities
Council doing this.
Greater status/protection of trees                            Local Authority & Government
Restriction of highway powers bring in line with              Government
Form a policy of consultation between departments             Head of design/highway
                                                              engineers environmental
Make it policy to replace trees                               Head of design/highway
                                                              engineers environmental
Encourage engineers to include planting in old and new        Head of design/highway
highway works                                                 engineers environmental
Prevent damage to trees by vandalism – youths lighting        Street Wardens. Ranger
fires in the root cavities and bark stripping                 Service
More proactive control of street, road repairs and            Development control or
essential services                                            stricter planning permissions
Continue to improve areas around the base of our trees as     Local Authorities and funding
it becoming evident in some areas                             should be increased to do this
Laws (local By-Laws?) for utility services to abide by        Council – NGO
with recognition to trees and prevent damage. Financial
penalties given if damage to trees
Positive planting campaigns                                   Any
Protection for all trees – demand for consultation with       Council
real efforts being made to retain the tree. First option to
retain tree. Its removal must be seen as the last option,
although it might not be a TPO tree or the easiest and
cheapest option
Audit of all existing street trees and garden trees,          Voluntary Tree Wardens after
identifying those at risk. Survey of resources.               training
Implement strategy at neighbourhood level                     Ward Stewards
Manage voluntary and Council resources minimises inter        Multi experienced working
departmental differences of agendas                           team members.
National Legislation to give blanket protection               Government
Allocate more resources for local authorities                 Government & Las
Educate and network                                           Local Authority
Understand what they have as street trees                     Local Authority
Plan to look after them                                       Local Authority
Defend them                                                   Local Authority
National policy re protection of trees need permission to     National policy

Sharing info – different Local Authorities have different     Local policy
standards/tree wardens etc
Funding for trees – health agenda/climate change              National policy
strategies to pay for it
More financial resources for tree officers, countryside       Local Authorities
staff etc
Enforce policies in tree strategy                             City Council

Publicity about issues                                        Local Authorities/Statutory
Need to reorganise local environment for pedestrians,         Council to take the lead and
open spaces, wildlife etc                                     work in partnership with all
                                                              other relevant bodies
                                                              (including residents and
                                                              community groups) in order to
                                                              maximise resources and
Manage trees from an ecological perspective as well as
for amenity value, etc
Trees and greenery to be seem as a way of achieving
preventative health care
Identify street as for living on, not just for cars           Councillors directing Planners
Good streets promote good communities, trees make             Need town planners, not just
streets better, so favour good communities                    traffic engineers
See this is part of the issue of controlling global warming   Government
which requires major change, reducing car use                 Councils
                                                              All of us
Establish tree wardens higher profile – develop               Tree wardens – land architects,
                                                              government policies
Lot of other problems that influence trees – cars –           Funding – known incentives,
holistic                                                      house prices, taking
Holistic approach, pedestrianisation/homezones, health        Effects of smoking campaign
benefits – key
Improve funding                                               City Council
Improve public education                                      City Council
Become involved                                               The public
Long term conservation and replacement plans                  Councils/private
                                                              funding/lottery funding
Look after what we‟ve got at the moment
Look to the future                                            What happens in the future.
                                                              Council/locals to draw up
Protection – all trees!!                                      Legislation! Government,
                                                              Local authority designated
Correct planting strategy. Closer working with                Local residents, local authority
developers – landscapes – LA – contractors –
Funding                                                       Government, oil/fuel
                                                              companies, local authorities,
Ensure that all trees are recorded and monitored              Specialist city or authority
Establish tree banks for authorities for semi(3) mature       Parks etc
Make sure that plans for areas for redevelopment include Developers
all details of the existing soils and vegetation, topography

Maintain existing street trees – do not cull unless          LA
absolutely necessary
Replace culled trees in proximity to original                LA
Inspect avenues and replace trees felled in the past         LA
Ensure tree replacement is taken seriously as a long term
commitment (Design and funding)
Ensure utility works are carried out in such a way as not
to damage/stress trees more than necessary
Enforce and use such procedures as BS5837 and treat
trees as material considerations
Commit to no real loss of tree population post tree survey   Land owners
Encourage residents to plant one tree in their garden
Experiment with a variety of species
Make people – residents and local people more aware of       Tree officers, landscape
the benefit of trees – promote awareness                     architects, tree wardens,
                                                             consultants – people who know
                                                             about trees
Education – know more about trees, employing the right       Community and people
people to make decisions on                                  working with community
removals/pruning/replanting                                  groups. Planning Authority
Protect, protect, protect. TPOs please inform residents      Council
of their responsibility in an area
Replace, replant, renew                                      Whets happening to road
                                                             widening on Sandyford Road
                                                             by Civic Centre?
Best Practice. Restrict excessive hard landscaping – eg      Council Policy
front gardens and replacing verges – get rid of parking
on verges
Put TPOs on every tree in the local authority area           The Local Authority
Prevent the paving over of the root area of trees by         The Government
making it illegal
Help people to become more aware of the value of trees       The environment agency
                                                             Need to get residents involved,
                                                             be proactive
                                                             Tree Wardens – other
Encourage more planting in discussion with residents         Local Authority and
and users                                                    Developers
Provide effective after-care and protection/maintenance      Local Authority and
of mature trees                                              Developers
Be aware of long term effects on infrastructure and safety   Local Authority and
and neighbourliness                                          Developers
Develop a street tree strategy                               Gateshead Council and all
Provide a dedicated budget for tree planting each year       Gateshead council and all
Develop a design guide/best practice guide for               Gateshead Council and all
professionals and residents                                  Councils
Develop a tree warden scheme in all authorities              Gateshead Council and all
Allocate proper levels of resources for action on the        Local Authority

Redesign streets for the future to accommodate trees           Council Engineers
Make best use of the authorities professional expertise        Corporate organisation
Plant more trees                                               Local authority (from the
                                                               excessive rates they have levied
                                                               in past years)
Investigate what trees should replace the old ones (in         Local authority with final say
view of global warming etc)                                    by residents
Plant trees for spring and winter colour                       Local authority with final say
                                                               by residents
Educate in the positive aspects of trees from an early age     Local authorities and charitable
                                                               trusts and private sector
Integrate street trees in the traffic calming measures etc     Highways Authorities
Publicise benefits of trees to Estate Agents, hospitals etc.   Collective approach – BALI
Investigate „Trees for Cities‟ project (as in London) – ore    Tree Officer
environmental education needed re trees in particular
Reverse asphalting of front gardens for parking – review       City Council
residential parking loses garden trees too
Increase community participation                               Residents
Use the mass media to create awareness of the
importance to plant and care for street trees. (Raise the
profile of existing organisation working at the moment)
Educate people (starting from schools) about planting
trees for future
Local agencies should stand up on days where
environment, or green day are celebrating so their voices
are heard eg Green days, carbon neutral days etc.
Education project to residents on value of trees               Local Authority
School projects and engage young people                        Forest education initiative and
                                                               Green Start
Adopt a street scheme by schools and resident groups           Initiated by tree council and
                                                               LA, Northumberland Wildlife
More funding for planting of trees generally not just for      Government
street trees in lieu
Of recent EA cuts in flood defence, encourage tree             Government
strategy such as Newcastle example across the country
and communicate to ward level
Encourage competitions/reward system for school                NCC/Government
children to seek out locations for new trees and increased
education for appreciation of the merits of types of trees
Preparation of a masterplan and an overall vision!             The Council Planning Dept
Educate and emphasise benefits                                 Schools, LA Authority
Educate residents on value of trees – leaflets and news        Natural England,
campaign                                                       City/Borough Councils, ONE
Take better care of them – trimming is done by Butchers        Councils
Make them important!! Don‟t just keep respond to               Councils
whinging residents and lop trees, Educate them and keep
Establish an effective team to deal with the situation

Restrict damage to trees by building contractors (some
with TPO)
Pursue replacements
An audit of what we have – along with a city wide             Council?
strategy so that people are aware of the larger pattern
Don‟t just use sorbus and prunus for planting on streets      All responsible for planting
now. Boring and not so diverse
Encourage a scheme whereby residents pledge to keep an        Newcastle Charity for trees?
eye on a designated tree and increase feeling of ownership
Better promote the benefits of tree planting both existing    Campaigning organisation
and new to reduce any negative opinions and provide           overleaf?
arguments for keeping trees in urban environments
Encourage utilities companies to use/transfer utilities       LPA‟s, Utilities Companies,
elements into one confined trench along streets to            Funding bodies
prevent from being damaged
Better detailing of hard landscaping and appropriate          LA‟s – planners/local
specification of tree planting along streets to               authorities
prevent/reduce future problems
More 106 Agreements put in place for developers to allot      Landowners/developers/LPAs
some money for planting and/or managing trees on
streets/anew adjacent to their development.
More rigorous use of tree designations for protection of      LPA
existing trees
Share information through organisations                       All
Better programme of management of existing street trees       LPA
(using google and methods used elsewhere) to reduce any       Public – notify LPA
potential risks to the public (which in turn will save more
trees which may be removed for fears of safety problems).
Programme of works to be then implemented
Funding for works
Maintain them, replacing for future generations to enjoy      Council
As well as listening to residents acting would be valuable
Reflect surveys and petitions when talking to media           Liz Bray on Look North
about residents preferences for trees/parking spaces
Maintain, plan for replanting                                 Council
Consult with local residents and ACT on results               Council
Make available funding for re-planting
Change the Council‟s priorities – streets are for much
more than transport corridors – they can be used to build
communities – this would include planting trees
Holistic approach to street design – designing streets to
accommodate trees and lots of other street activities
Look at alternative methods of coping with subsidence         Council‟s specialists
Give more consideration to road layout, redesign to allow
tree planting
Favour large trees whenever possible especially trees do
little to support nature and constant vandalism
Look again at their “environment/parks/gardens”               Lets stat in North East. Be the
funding and re-allocate significant amounts to street         leader for once.

Complete a comprehensive computer-based survey asap.         If residents/tree wardens can‟t
                                                             do it then the LA should.
Start planting street trees across the city and publicise it Stop talking waffle and about
nationwide.                                                  strategies and over-
                                                             consultation. The LA should
                                                             get on with it.
Keep an eye on them to ensure that there is the maximum Voluntary tree wardens
chance of a reasonable life-span for them.
Prune when necessary                                         Local authority, contracting a
                                                             reliable tree surgeon.
Re-plant if necessary with appropriate trees.                Local authority, having
                                                             consulted with a reliable
Take care                                                    Utilities companies
Replace those lost                                           Local Authorities
Promote respect                                              LA, Local people,
                                                             Arboricultural Association
Successful planting schemes before existing trees die.       City Council, Freemen,
Plant trees in City centre which is especially stark,        City Council, shops
(Northumberland Street in particular)
Some areas are especially treeless (est End, Elswick,        City Council. residents
Arthur‟s Hill, etc) Plant them

                                WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

2.      Please write down one thing that you will do to help

What?                            When?                         Where?

Advice from a tree producers As required                       Where needed
viewpoint and former LA
Landscape officer

Support reviews of design        As they are developed         At work

Look after trees and shrubs      Now and in future             My garden and allotment
on my property

I grow trees and supply                                        All over the country

Inspect trees                    2006-07                       High West Jesmond
Revise funds

Promote - maintain trees         When/where appropriate        Newcastle
preserve at all costs, replant
trees where trees have to be
removed as issues presented
by C Bains need to be
filtered down to all residents

Champion your cause              At every opportunity          As appropriate
                                 (meeting with friends)

Support all residents re         Now                           My Ward
trees, good and bad

Attend tree warden training      When organised                Wherever it is provided

Plant a tree                     ?                             Probably at home

Explain the benefits of trees    When discussing tree work     Working environment

Watering                         Daily or weekly               Gosforth

Write to Wendy Taylor            Next week

Monitor trees on Barrack         All year                      Barrack Road
Road for problems

                                WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

2.      Please write down one thing that you will do to help

What?                            When?                         Where?

Write to my local Council        By end of year                South Tyneside MBC
asking them to adopt a

Plant a tree                     Within 12 months              In my garden to aid

Vigilance                        All the time                  Tyneside

Woodland Strategy                2007/8                        Sedgefield

Raise profile in general         From now                      North East!

Propaganda! Tell the good
news to counter the „fellers‟
– need this to do so

Ensure that new tree             During design development     Any relevant scheme
planting and treatment of
existing trees is given
priority in schemes where

Attempt to do more to            When opportunity arises       Where possible
prevent loss of trees on
development sites and to
ensure tree protection
measures are followed

Ensure urban green benefits As soon as possible                Amongst regional partners
are reflected in RFS
documents such as Delivery
Plans and in NE Strategy for

Maintain pressure on             Ongoing                       Grange Park, Gosforth, NE3
councillors to keep trees in
Grange Park

Cursory inspection               Most times                    Within 5 mile radius of

Always specify appropriate     In future                       Middlesbrough
species where possible

                             WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

2.      Please write down one thing that you will do to help

What?                           When?                          Where?

Encourage policy and raise      Within month                   Gateshead Council
awareness in Gateshead

Pass on information to          Week beginning 16 October      Gateshead Council Civic
colleagues at feedback          2006                           Centre

Endeavour to do more on my Within the near future              In the area designated to me
charity as tree warden

Increase awareness – get

Commit to observing and         When 70 VTWs trained and       Street tree environment
recording trees in an           tested                         training area
allocated patch

Write tree policy for           In progress                    Durham

Carry on doing:                 Every day                      Durham
Understand what they have
as street trees
Plan to look after them
Defend them

Use information from            Within next 12 months          Stockton Borough
seminar to inform our
Highway Design Guide

Apply for a Doorstep            Now                            Within our local residents
Greening Grant                                                 group

Be part of a tree planting      Whenever                       Wherever

Press Councillors               Every opportunity              North Tyneside

Promote the use of street       Now                               Chillingham Road
trees in Chllingham Road
Be a tree officer. Do you       Where do I sign up                For my local area
need qualifications?

                              WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

2.      Please write down one thing that you will do to help

What?                         When?                            Where?

Pass on seminar details to    Within six months                Easington District
local authority with tree     implementing street
strategy and policies         strategy with lessons
                              learned form Newcastle

Write about trees in the      When asked by Liz or Tin

Anything                      As available                     Anywhere

Encourage tree planting    After tree works – part of          Wherever appropriate
where trees are removed by tree reports (mostly at the
own company – always       time try to replacement

Continue as a Tree Warden Tomorrow                             Jesmond Park East – Tree
reporting on my patch                                          at risk, due to compaction

Educate the young people      This weekend                     Kielder Forest
in tree care/influence

Retain interest and express   When issues concerning           Via my role on the N&N
views as resident of          trees surface                    Society and generally as a
Newcastle                                                      chartered planner with
                                                               specialist interest in trees
                                                               and the environment

Discuss implications with     As soon as possible
local councillors and at

Continue to contribute my     Whenever I can                   In my neighbourhood and
experience                                                     within the local authority

Depends upon what is                                           Local

Plant street trees            Ongoing               Northumberland

Investigate becoming a tree Soon                    North Newcastle

Survey the trees in my area   ASAP                  North Gosforth
and pass information to
Keep an eye on a              Throughout the year   Near my home, in fact I
reasonable number of them                           already do as I am a tree
                                                    warden for an area in
Design suitable tree          Tomorrow, who knows   Newton Aycliffe, Durham
species. Retain deadwood

                           WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

3.     Please use the space below if you’d like to say anything else about street trees.

Linking health issues to trees. Persuade SITA to give grants to
agencies/councils/community groups to make chicanes in neighbourhood streets in
which trees will be planted.

Think of trees less as a liability and more an asset

There needs to be some education in residential areas about eco footprints – the value of
trees to this is to bio diversity and to quality of life. My neighbours see them as „making
a mess‟, a constant source of discomfort and angst!

Trees need to be made a working class issue – middle class people banging on about
statistics doesn‟t make trees important. Embark on a social marketing campaign
targeting working class!!

A neglected asset.

More of them. More Government funding/update 2002 tree strategy involve the
schools/school children.

They are great!

Raise issues of good design (urban design): as landscape architect promote good practice
of maintenance of trees, provide enough space for trees to grow.

Love „em! Wouldn‟t be able to survive without seeing trees.

Is anyone looking into what trees will be affected by climate change and what trees can
best replace them.

What is the maintenance strategy to deal with tree diseases that will crop up due to
climate change eg scale insets on trees at Haymarket.

Better use of schools and parks to educate young people in the importance of trees and
green space.

Attend the local “friends of” various city parks to learn about green issues and funding

The management of street trees is potentially a sophisticated and detailed process and
should not be perceived in simplistic way. A dedicated professional team approach is

needed together with long-term political commitment.

Adopt a tree in your street where none, request a planting scheme.

Support speakers‟ arguments in favour of protecting street trees and green spaces.
Needs to be a much more creative use of public space and use of specialist design skills
to achieve a high quality landscape in partnership with residents and users.

Particular attention needs to be given to trees on Council estates. Pulled apart by bored
kids – new plantings are not protected adequately. The car is instrument of destruction
– the real enemy is poor attitude ie most Council tenants view trees as giant weeds that
need removing to make access for an off-street driveway.

Put them first! Before road widening, utilities.
Use the Health Card, the Green card, every political lever!
Appeal to the „money‟ factor and sell the street by its trees….

Street trees must be conserved, replaced and renewed.

Countrywide strategies for trees and open space and urban woods forced on local
authorities without involving politics.

Making everyone aware of health benefits of trees. Understand value of trees, which
would argue lot of counter arguments about car access/parking.

Congratulations to Newcastle for this meeting – make sure you follow it up.

Glad that Newcastle has taken this initiative. We need more of them – lets have a tree
parking programme. Important to deal with climate change.

People who buy houses in tree lined streets need to understand better their
responsibilities towards the trees.

Very important visually, habitats now recognised but heath agenda now seen as very
important – may be the way forward.

Let‟s treat street trees with the respect they deserve as a resource for health and
community amenity.

In the 21st century let manage for wildlife increasing wildlife corridors.

I believe that highway and housing developments or extension to existing building
should be more accountable for the damage to trees in all localities not just in streets.

Should be as large as possible – should be possible to overcome pavement and building
foundation issues.

Please retain as many street trees as possible.

We ought to use the example of street trees in Europe to support the argument (- do
fellow Europeans have any minimum planting, distances from buildings?

Don‟t forget contribution to character of conservation areas, as well as other

Local authorities need to be educated not to butcher street trees.

Engineering requirements should not take precedence over tree retention.

Cherries are worse for pavements than larger forest trees – in my experience.

No trees should be cut down to allow residents to park on the pavement!

We won‟t now whet we have got until they are done. It is crucial to protect and extend
this resource for our children and grand children.

The big problem is car-parking pressure. Each parking bay should have at least one
tree incorporated in the design.

An exceptionally detailed and complex subject area that needs a multi-disciplinary
approach that is resident centred.

Too often trees are blamed for other events – eg lack of parking, damage to
pavements/roads/properties. Trees need to be looked at as part of the environment;
not as an optional extra.

My feeling is trees and therefore wildlife are our priority – NOT cars, parking.

Street trees may define the character of an area, in addition to providing wildlife
habitats, promoting health etc. Street uses should be an essential part of town planning
and maintenance.

Avoid the use of trendy technology such as sustainability, global warming and focus on
more tangible factors such as leaf area index etc. It‟s a cultural problem relating to
dominance and manipulation of not only the environment but everything European
culture touches. Therefore is it a surprise that the majority of trees were planted in the
Victorian era when world dominance was at its most prominent.

I am guilty of „taking street trees for granted‟. I value trees in gardens and rural areas
but needed my awareness raised. Thank you!

They are an advantage to having street trees but they do have riches – who
agrees/decides what the acceptable rich is?

I would like better communication to residents on street tree events etc – email or
nominated street representatives.

Introduce into local transport plans an environmental budget stream to replace and care
for trees on highway an adopted land. Always replace or increase trees lost.
Let us be sensible about our environment, keeping our trees if at all possible but
appreciating that sometimes one has to be felled.
Imagine a city/town without them! Start replacing now and it should be seamless. If
residents have said they want the tree lined character retained then the council should
just go in and replant. Article 4 Directions needed in these areas to stop residents
paving over their front gardens.
Concern about lack of replacements to trees around the moors in Newcastle. (Town
Moor, Nuns Moor etc) All these were planted at about the same time NE Coast
exhibition 1930 – almost all sycamore and are not thriving. They are dying and as they
were planted at the same time – they will all die together. Replacement successional
planting should be underway now and on a rolling basis.

Street trees feedback

Totals from forms received 19/10/06


4      Do you think there is a need for a campaigning organisation for street trees?
       (Please tick your answer)

                                              Yes          No
In Newcastle?                                 48           6
In the North East of England?                 47           5
In the UK ?                                   53           2
Would you consider joining such an            55           6

5      Feedback on this event

Please give us your views. (Please tick your answer)

                                         Very       Good        Average   Poor   Very
                                         Good                                    Poor
1      Chris Baines                      61         7           0         0      0
2      Jon Eachus & Kirstie              1          22          31        10     2
3      Tim Beckley                       1          24          33        2      3
4      Gerry Birtles                     8          31          17        2      0
5      Councillor Wendy Taylor           21         22          11        0      0
6      Paul Bennison                     12         26          4         1      0
7      Venue                             30         21          3         1      0
8      Information and organisation      24         24          8         1      0

                  WORKSHOP DISCUSSION 11 OCTOBER 2006

                       WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

1     Please write down three things that you think should be done by authorities
      and agencies who are responsible for street trees?

    What?                                           By who?



2        Please write down one thing that you will do to help

What ?                    When ?                      Where?

3        Please use the space below if you’d like to say anything else about street

4        Do you think there is a need for a campaigning organisation for street
      trees? (Please tick your answer)

                                           Yes       No
In Newcastle?

In the North East of England?
In the UK ?
Would you consider joining such an

5      Feedback on this event

Please give us your views. (Please tick your answer)

                                         Very      Good   Average     Poor    Very
                                         Good                                 Poor
1      Chris Baines
2      Jon Eachus & Kirstie
3      Tim Beckley
4      Gerry Birtles
5      Councillor Wendy Taylor
6      Paul Bennison
7      Venue
8      Information and organisation

6      If you would like to receive feedback on this event and on street trees in
       future, please give your contact details below. The information will be
       recorded and retained by Newcastle City Council.


Telephone no
Organisation/ firm


Dear Mr Johnson

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

Thank you for your letter to Paul Stephenson, our Environment Manager, dated 15
December inviting our contribution to your committee‟s current investigation. Our answers
to your questionnaire are enclosed.

In addition to our replies the committee may be interested to know that Canary Wharf
Group has created a series of new parks, gardens and squares and other open areas across
our estate which have been planted with 37 different species of trees including London
plane, elm and chestnut. We enclose a copy of our species register, which is also on our
website. We were one of the first property companies to set out a biodiversity action plan,
with tough, measurable targets for increasing the biodiversity on the estate. We are also
one of the earliest and largest installers of green roofs in the UK with more than 8,000 sq m
now covered on 8 buildings and have now added sedum brown roofs. This has attracted new
bird and insect life back to the Isle of Dogs.

A copy of our latest Environmental and Social Report, which may be of interest, is also
enclosed. Further information can be found on our web site We
wish the committee every success and look forward to seeing the outcome of the

Anthony Partington
Managing Director
Canary Wharf Management Limited

London Assembly Questionnaire:
Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

Q. Has there been a loss of street trees in Canary Wharf development? If so, what are the
reasons and what is the impact of this loss?

A. No – prior to the present development Canary Wharf was derelict devoid of any trees. In
the development of the site Canary Wharf Group has introduced 857 semi-mature street
trees and garden trees using 37 different species.

Q. What type of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have proved
most suitable for the Canary Wharf street environment? Which types of trees will need to
be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate change?

A. London Planes still are ideal street trees, but they are very broad for modern high-rise
developments unless there are generous road allowances. They need regular pruning of the
crown. We currently tend to use Linden and Lime trees in preference as they are smaller.
With larger buildings, more columnar trees are needed. We find fastigiate variants of
hornbeam, cypress, oaks, which are robust and work well in more confined urban spaces.

Q. What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?

A. They provide a human-scale and soften the street in high rise/high density urban areas.
However, disease, root invasion and, increasingly, utilities are chopping roots and affecting
the sustainability of urban street trees and can be a disbenefit in high demand areas.

Q. What best practice exist in the management of street trees?

A. Canary Wharf Management Limited was set up by Canary Wharf Group plc, the
developer of Canary Wharf, to manage the estate. Over the last 15 years or so the
management team, recruited on the basis of their knowledge and experience of, amongst
other things horticulture in urban settings, has developed an expertise which is constantly
being expanded and up-dated as the estate grows and our experience builds.

Q. How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
developments such as Canary Wharf?

A. Street trees are an integral part of the Master Planning of Canary Wharf that predate the
Mayor‟s policies.

Q. How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London‟s trees?

A. This is difficult to say regarding street trees as few people have an overview. It does
seem to have positive benefits in parks and woodlands and new developments.

Q. What improvements. If any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?

A. The Mayor might start with a planting strategy for all remaining sections of the
Transport for London Road Network with a common management plan to be shared with
the boroughs as a “best practice” guide for the maintenance of their own street trees. When
considering new policy is it important that it is clear, will not conflict with other policies
and in all respects is reasonable and implementable. We suggest that the current paper be
tested against these criteria.

CANARY WHARF TREES – BIODIVERSITY                           AUGUST 2004

North Park and Walkway
                              - Acer platanoides            3 no
                              - Platanus acerifolia         23 no
Riverside Esplanade
                              - Platanus acerifolia         4 no
                              - Quercus palustris           17 no
                              - Tilia platyphyilos          32 no
Westferry Circus
Outer Ring
                                 Platanus acerifolia        92 no
Inner Ring
                              - Acer campestre              1 no
                              - Magnolia kobus              3 no

                           - Metasequoia              2 no
                           - Prunus avium             2 no
                           - Prunus avium “Plena”     1 no
                           - Prunus cerisifera var    2 no
                           - Prunus incisa            2 no
                           - Prunus padus             1 no
                           - Prunus yedoensis         1 no
                           - Quercus robur            6 no
                           - Quercus rubra            6 no
                           - Sorbus intermedia        1 no
West India Avenue
       Outer Row           - Tilia Platyphylios       28 no
       Inner Row           - Platanus acerifolia      20 no
Columbus Courtyard
                           - Carpinus betulus         2 no
                           - Tilia tomentosa          6 no
Cabot Square
      Pleached hedge       - Tilia tomentosa          76 no
North & South Colonnades
                           - Tilia euchlora           44 no
Nash Court
    Lower Level            - Taxodium distichum       6 no
    High Level             - Acer platanoides         4 no

Cublitt Steps
                           - Quercus rubra            6 no
Wren Landing
                           - Aesculus                 6 no
North Promenade
                           - Acer pseudoplatanus      22 no
Hertsmere Park
                           - Carpinus betulus         9 no
Canada Square
                           -   Acer grosseri hersii   3 no
                           -   Acer rubrum            4 no
                           -   Acer saccarinum        3 no
                           -   Aesculus               20 no

                          -   Amelanchier lamarkii     3 no
                          -   Cornus controversa       2 no
                          -   Cornus florida „Rubra‟   4 no
                          -   Liriodendrum             4 no
                          -   Tilia Americana „Novo‟   16 no
                          -   Quercus rubra            5 no
Adams Court
                          - Liquidambar                5 no
Jubilee Park
                          - Metasequoia                166 no
                          - Prunus serrulata           3 no
                          - Prunus serrulata           8 no
                          - Quercus x turneri          17 no
                          - Taxodium distichum         3 no
                          - Taxodium distichum         6 no
                          - Zeikova serrata            3 no
Bank Street „Boulevard‟
                          - Metasequoia                38 no     (38)
Bank Street
                          - Tilla cordata              21 no
Riverside South Compound (temporary)
                        - Platanus acerfolia           30 no

Totals so far are:
         Permanently planted 857
         Temporarily planted 226

                      Total 1083


North Quay                  (100)
Currently on Canary Wharf
                August 2004 983

Tree species total                3


I gather the Environment Committee is examining the loss of street trees in London. I
believe that you need to consider the effects of subsidence caused or enhanced (some may
dispute the links between trees and subsidence) by tree roots. In particular you should be
aware that parts of the insurance industry and their contractors have mapped every tree
within the M25…..yes every tree! They could tell you how many trees there are by
postcode, street etc etc. However it is proprietary information so it may not be in the public
domain, nor free.
I attach a file showing trees lost in Harrow. I can‟t tell you at this stage the time range for
this loss but it gives you some indication. The second photo shows in one case what was
found on the ground when a “lost tree” location was visited on the ground i.e. a piece of
So in brief there is ample evidence of a net loss of street trees. Once a large tree is lost it is
difficult to reestablish any tree, let alone one that has the potential to regrow to a similar
size. The reasons are various. Trees were normally established in an environment with a
more permeable soil surface. Now tarmac prevails and less water permeates into the surface
soil where tree roots prefer to grow. Secondly competition for space underground for
service runs – water, electricity, telephone, gas, cable networks – make it difficult to
reestablish a hole of sufficient size to plant a decent size tree. Maintenance of these services
also continue to take their toll on tree roots as does maintenance of road and pavement
What can be done to improve the situation. Whilst good practice of urban tree management
is practiced by some companies, knowledge is often proprietary and not in the public
domain. No government body exists to support councils with technical knowledge of good
and best practice. A very small part of the Dept of Communities and Local Government
does what it can; the Forestry Commission occasionally has a research contract that helps.
Tree management is a long term business – the largest trees on the Victoria embankment
having been established over 100 years ago for example. Better publicly available
documentation, sharing experiences and providing guidance for tree managers and for
informing other professionals and the public (two separate audiences) of the implications of
their actions on trees would be useful.
I hope this helps

Jon Heunch
Duramen Tree Care


Dear Mr Davies

Your letter of 15 December from Darren Johnson to the Chief Executive of Birmingham
City Council has been passed to me for a response and I will endeavour to answer those
questions that you have asked and I would also draw your attention to the Birmingham City
Council web site, which has further information on street trees.
A copy of the scrutiny report 'Review of Trees in the Public Highway', is also attached.

1.   Has there been a loss of street trees in Birmingham?
    It is not possible to answer this question yes or no as the issue is somewhat more
complex. We do need to remove street trees (highway trees) for various reasons e.g. dead,
diseased or dying etc. Where a tree(s) does have to be removed, which would usually only
be as a last resort, we will replace it, in addition to this a minimum of 1,000 further street
trees are planted each year.

2a. What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and
which types have proved most suitable for Birmingham's street environment?
    Where possible we do try to replace like for like, or at least similar, e.g. replace existing
lime with Tilia cordata 'Greenspire'. The aim is to maintain the integrity of the existing
street scene if at all possible, with particular attention to scale and form. A specific site
assessment must be made to inform any decision on tree/ replacement tree planting i.e.
space available, utilities present, etc. Usage of specific forms of tree developed for specific
locations show promise in providing solutions to some of the challenges ahead, Hillier and
Barcham Trees catalogues both contain good examples.

2b. Which types of trees will need to be planted in the future to
mitigate any effects from climate change?
    There is a huge quantity of material on the subject of climate change with the consensus
being that the UK will get warmer with more extreme weather events becoming the norm,
there is less certainty over the time-frame for such changes. A cautious approach would
seem prudent, trialing new species and cultivars, and not relying too heavily on any single
one. If we assume that summers will get hotter with drought conditions being common, an
informed decision would be not to plant trees that are already struggling in such conditions.
It should also be considered that the trees planted must be suitable for the site, in terms of
scale, attractiveness, sufficiently robust etc, etc.

3. What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street
    Much has been published on this subject, easily obtained by some selective filtering on
the web. More specifically the now dispanded National Urban Forestry Unit (NUFU)
published some useful information, which should still be available.

4.  What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
    Unfortunately most of the good practice that exists is localised, mechanisms for
disseminating such practice are not formalised although they do exist in the form of local
and national networks e.g. National Tree Officer Group (NTOG), London Tree Officer
Group (LTOG), Arboricultural Association (AA) etc. Central government are currently
working on a series highlighting best practice gathered from Council's across the country,
some of these are currently available on the web, with others to be published in due course.

5. What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street
    Generally trees are still considered too late in the day, whether this is in the design of
new/ or alteration of existing roads, or repair/ installation of utilities. Gaining political
support can greatly assist in improving the aforesaid and implementing appropriate
measures. A significant benefit can be gained by allocating sufficient resources to allow the
majority of the street tree stock to be included within a programme of cyclical maintenance.

Yours sincerely
Adrian Walters
Urban Forestry Officer
Birmingham Council


Dear Richard Davies,

I have read with interest that the London Assembly has launched an investigation to find
out why trees are disappearing. They have asked the public to contact you with their
views. I live in Barnet and have set out below information which you may find interesting.

1. Barnet Council has allowed, 2,341 dropped curbs between 2001 and 2005 - which in
turn allows people to knock-out their front gardens

2. Residents in my road are currently objecting to a neighbour's request that a mature
birch tree (which is positioned on the street outside their front garden) be cut down in order
that they may have their curb dropped - which in turn would allow them to knock out their
garden and have off-street parking.

       Barnet's Tree Officer has recommended that this tree should NOT be cut down -
      However, the resident has a right to appeal and has done so. Local Councillors have
       supported the Tree Officer's recommendations -
      We have heard on the 'grapevine' that the Chair of the Environmental Committee
       has the right to over-ride this decision and intends to do so. We are told that Barnet
       Council want to get as many cars off the streets as possible! I should mention that
       we live in a bit of a backwater and really do not have a big parking problem.

3. We are part of a terrace and already two front gardens have disappeared and because
the dropped curbs are adjoining, there is no space between them for a tree. Presumably
when the curbs were dropped, the existing tree was taken out and has never been replaced.

4. In the same street and within the same part referred to above, we recently had another
mature tree cut down which was rotten and another smaller tree taken out which was not
thriving. We are still waiting for replacements. Indeed these two trees would be still
standing if the issue of the other tree had not been raised - which prompted Barnet Council
to examine the two other trees. One wonders if Barnet has been rather lax in
their monitoring of trees in this area.

Yours sincerely,
Sheila Shannon


Dear Sir/Madam,

In reply to the environment committees scrutiny into the loss of street trees I'd like to say
that I hope that where possible more street trees will be planted in London's boroughs and
centre when earthworks and relaying of pavements take place.

I believe they are good for London hopefully in absorbing C02 emissions from traffic and so
on and that they should appear more at street scene level not just in parks and greenspaces.
I would hope that councils can lay soakaway drains into tree pits to ensure they are watered
by rainfall as opposed to needing councils to provide a separate need for water transporting
to the trees.

I also would ask that councils planting new trees into paved ares should illuminate using
ground based uplighters to highlight the trees at night-which could work on stored solar
energy to power the lights and that trees should be lit from above by small beaded light
chains (like the blue ones by the Southbank Centre) and white ones elsewhere to add to the
aesthetics of the tree as an opportunity to enhance the night street scene.

It would be good to see more permanent rooted fir trees to perform the job of
being Christmas trees planted in grounds of council offices,churches,public
buildings,libraries etc to prevent the need of felling further trees each year to provide a
three-week decoration as the tree would be fulfilling a role in absorbing C02 all year then
being illuminated at Christmas if need be.

I'd like to request that there be a specific London-wide public trees plan if there isn't one
already It would also be good if City Hall can itself set a lead by planting some
containerised trees along the riverside in More London and near the City Hall approaches.

Also what are the strategies for trees at the Stratford Olympic Park may I ask where
permanent trees can be placed in the Olympic Village this would be a good idea to add
greenery to the site,with the obvious proviso of it not being a security risk e.g. obscuring
CCTV or an area upon which any devices could be hidden as a risk factor.

One other tree-related factor I'd ask is please will London boroughs seek to provide more
butterfly-attracting plants and shrubs- like buddleia and lilacs or honeysuckle as these
pretty creatures would be welcomed in any urban or suburban area of the capital.

Many thanks

Terence C. Jolley BSc(Hons) JP (Ret)


I am the Arboricultural Officer at CIP. CIP is the company contracted by L.B.Hounslow to
manage it's street trees and oversee pruning maintenance regimes. We have been doing this
since the 1990s, when CIP was created partly from what used to be the Leisure Services

Q: Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what is the impact
of this loss?

Generally, yes there has been a net loss in LBHounslow. We currently have approx 11,200
street trees. In recent years we have just about been able to use available resources to
replace removed trees with an equivalent number of new plantings. But extreme patterns of
climate - such as the recent storm or recent summer droughts - have lead to substantial bulk
loss of street trees. There is not a sufficient budget available to replace these trees. The net
effect is a loss in population year on year despite our best efforts.

In the 18/01/07 storm we lost approx 60 street trees and many more other public trees in
parks and open spaces (which are generally less managed than the street trees - exact losses
figures are not currently available).

An additional reason can sometimes be where pressures are exerted to remove trees so that
footways can be repaired permanently where a tree may have been causing lifted pavements
and trip hazards. remedial pruning is often the preferred treatment to trees where a root
prune is unavoidable but sometimes trees have been felled due to the reason that the tree
could be rendered unsafe structurally by such root-pruning when it can't be avoided.

- Another impact of loss is that we are seeing at the end of most recent summers increasing
losses of Birch and Beech trees across the borough, mainly due to drought related stress, or
associated pathogens exploiting such weaknesses in these trees.

Q: What best practice exists in the management of street trees?

A: Our contracted tree surgeons are wherever possible Arb Association Approved
Contractors. All climbers and groundsmen are expected to be fully ticketed (NPTCs) and
familiar with the best practice as advocated in BS3998:1989 (Recommendations for

- A computer database (1st STEMS, now CONFIRM) exists to help organise and manage
the maintenance of street trees. It is also a resource for evaluating pruning/inspection
history and particular issues/enquiries relating to specific trees. This has many advantages
but unfortunately these systems are very expensive (acquisition, upgrades, training, etc.)
and it can be quite unwieldy to use, which can often lead to an increasing drain on officer
time and similarly increased expectations from council members and executives concerning
performance monitoring and the like.

- In combination with the CONFIRM database a 3 yearly full survey is undertaken on all
street trees by Arb Inspectors. Maintenance regimes are scheduled on the back of these
surveys according to the priority of works required AND according to the council-led policy
of pruning all so called 'forest trees' - Planes and Limes - on a 3 yearly cycle whether they
need to be pruned or not. This is as a result of members deciding to address these 2 species

(approx 60% of street stock) as they are often the source of most public
enquiries/complaints concerning trees.

- Ad hoc maintenance is scheduled following enquiries from the public or councillors or
other interested parties in the borough, sahould it be deemd necessary by the Inspector.

- The Arb section's staff are all qualified and expected to engage in CPD to keep abreast of
modern arb thinking and new ideas of best practice. Attending miscellaneous seminars or
presentations or the LTOA as a member is a part of this.

Q: What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?

A: - The policies in general are not the problem. The issue is appropriate levels of funding
and manpower to realise the policies determined by the council. More and more in London
we arbs hear of initiatives and support of trees in general and new planting in particular. It's
a popular sound-bite. The reality is that often people are just paying lip-service to the
trendy notion of 'green politics' (especially near election time!). This relates to both national
and local govt. politicians.

- "I love trees, but it's just that this one..." is a common mantra heard by Tree Officers
wherever they have contact with the public, who often have the most spurious reasons for
complaining and wasting valuable officer time. Educating the public must be a priority for
all of us at every opportunity. Again this takes money and time - the 2 commodities we have
little of.

- I think our borough is typical of London in that the pressures on trees and tree officers
have not abated, while the resources available to tree sections do not match the expectations
that many both in govt. and the public have for their local treescape. As an example, our
tree section has declined in numbers from 5 officers (from Arb Manager, Operations
Manager, and 2 Officers, down to Arb Inspector) in 2003 to just 2 Officers in 2007. How
does local govt. expect their trees to be well managed and advocated for when the
increasing pressures mean that Tree Officers simply don't have the time to address all the
issues, or as adequately as they would like?

The public are shocked to hear that a removed tree will not necessarily be replaced directly,
as there simply aren't enough resources for it.

Publicising this problem would in my opinion aid our cause and hopefully assist in lobbying
both local and central govt. for increased funding and promoting public awareness. This
problem will doubtless become more and more acute each year as our capital city continues
to heat up and make life generally uncomfortable for all in the summers ahead.


Paul Harris.
Arboricultural Officer, CIP
- Consulting Tree Officer, London Borough of Hounslow.

London Borough of Hounslow have lost 63 Street trees and we have recorded 131 Highway
Street tree incidents in the recent storm 18/19 Jan 2007

In general during one calendar year we lose about 40/50 trees in the Borough due to
various factors including an average over 5 years for storms.

Please resend attachment if the query relates to other specifics


Joe Rajcoomar

Arboricultural & Vehicle Fleet Manager.
LB Hounslow


Thank you for your letter inviting comment on the loss of street trees in London. From
personal experience over the last 19 years in the land-based industries, with both the Royal
Parks and the City of London, the main issues that seem to have come to the fore are:
    Competition from underground services – the vast array of underground services
       housed within London‟s Streets make the addition of large-scale additional tree
       planting problematic, with the addition of new services threatening existing
       plantings. A space at ground level in the footway does not necessarily mean
       sufficient planting room beneath. Tree roots are considered a threat by engineers
       resulting in new plantings having to be housed in underground concrete planting
       boxes; far from ideal with the inevitable „bonsai‟ effect on healthy plant growth. The
       other alternative is a raised planter above ground which is far from ideal with
       warmer temperatures leading to an increased requirement for water and a stress
       situation for young trees. New and innovative ways of incorporating trees into
       urban landscapes are essential if they are to be accommodated at all.
    Competition from development – in order to retain its attractiveness to world
       business, redevelopment across London continues apace, with existing green space
       coming an inevitable second. The “temporary” loss of trees - to make way for site
       accommodation, the swing of crane booms or access for site traffic – means the
       replacement of large, mature specimens with much smaller, ornamental species,
       completely changing the profile of the tree stock. Although Section 106 money from
       such developments is most welcome, one must question the long term viability of
       replacement landscaping schemes which may, once again, be removed at the end of
       the building‟s life (now often little more than 20 years). Contrarily, developers push
       for larger tree sizes in such schemes in order to create an instant effect and therefore
       better foil for the new development. Whilst larger tree planting sizes in a park
       situation remain viable, the drainage problems and sheer logistics of watering in a
       street situation do not.
    Competition from neighbours - the need for pruning of mature trees increases year
       on year, either because of inappropriate species choice in the past, or because of a
       change in the streetscape through development. This leads to the selection of
       smaller species more appropriate for the modern streetscape, often fastigiate and
       with a shorter life span and corresponding reduction in amenity value and
       importance to wildlife. Furthermore the need to lessen the number of footway
       obstructions through DDA requirements, the need to remove trip hazards and often

       the fear of litigation itself all have a part to play in the reduction of street tree
      Competition from climate – climate change is a clear and imminent threat to all
       species including London‟s street tree population. Continued drought stress
       throughout the summer and the inability of local authority budgets to accommodate
       large scale replacement following loss, both contribute to reduction over time. A
       switch to more drought-tolerant species would seem the simple answer but these
       species must also be able to cope with wetter winters and the possible water-logging
       these may bring. There also seems to have been an increase in the number of plant
       pests surviving through the winter. These too have a year on year weakening effect
       on the trees but fortunately nothing to equal the dreaded Elm Bark Beetle has
       surfaced yet.

Despite this seemingly bleak picture, we have in the City continued to increase the amount
of tree planting where possible, and long hope to do so. I look forward to seeing the
outcomes of your research and hope that a policy leading to a brighter future for London‟s
street tree stock can be found.

Yours sincerely

Martin Rodman
City Gardens Manager
City of London


Dear Mr Davies


I am responding to your letter dated 15th December and have chosen to number your
Questions 1-7.

   1. Felling sometimes necessary due to new developments, highways alterations and
      severe storm damage to canopies. Replacement trees almost always planted either
      close by or in immediate area often in greater numbers than quantity of trees felled
      as a means of compensating for amount of amenity lost by the felling.

   2. Tendency to plant species which utilize but do not outgrow amount of air space
      available for their development. Use Chanticleer Pear for many locations for when
      established requires minimum amount of maintenance. Emphasis placed on
      diversification and choosing species which are generally compatible with site
      features. Have used Olives – Olea and Mimosa – Acacia successfully in recent

   3. Residents display a more caring and responsible attitude to streetscape if it contains
      well maintained trees. Higher property values in areas containing selective planting.
      Environmental benefits – shade, wildlife, filter dust and pollution, absorb traffic
      noise etc etc. Increased quality of life for residents and visitors.

   4. Data survey and GIS mapping. Creation of effective strategies. Implementation of
      cyclical maintenance programmes. Achieve exemplary standards of workmanship by

       using reputable contractors. Operate a transparent approach when dealing with the
       public and professionals.

   5. Generally encourage architects and developers to retain and safeguard street trees
      during creation of new schemes. Encourage that new tree planting materialises as
      part of development and seek Section 106 money for planting in wide field.

   6. Tree and Woodland Framework regarded as a useful document as reference can be
      made to it during negotiations. It can be used to assist Tree Officers case in the
      event he/she requires evidence to support recommendations.

   7. Much closer liaison between local authorities and Transport for London about
      maintenance planting and future highway alterations virtually non-existent at
      present time. This situation is far from satisfactory and should be addressed and
      permanently improved. Currently examples exist of significant dead trees alongside
      main roads in the capital.

There is no reason to keep this response confidential and should you require further
information please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Westminster Council


Dear Richard
RE: Response to Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

Following your request for information regarding the investigation into the loss of street
trees in London, find attached a formal response from Groundwork‟s Arboriculturalist in
East London, along with anecdotal information from a Community Gardener in West

To support our response, it would be very beneficial for you to visit some of the areas
described in our response, along with projects Groundwork has undertaken to mitigate
against the lost of street trees. Please contact me, so we can arrange a suitable time and
date with our arboriculturalist Russell Miller.


Sharron Nestor
Initiatives Development Manager
Groundwork UK (London)

Loss of Street Trees In London - A Personal View

Without conducting a specific survey or accessing information that may (or may not) be
held by individual local authority tree officers any comments on the relative decline of street
trees is inevitably somewhat anecdotal. That said a good proportion of professionals
dealing with trees in London would probably share the following observations.

1. Reasons for Loosing Street Trees
   1.1. Subsidence
       1.1.1. The huge increase in subsidence claims in the past 20 years has created
             enormous pressure on local authorities to remove street trees. The reason for
             the increase in claims may in part be due to climatic changes causing greater
             desiccation of shrinkable soils such as London clay, i.e. trees are removing the
             same, or similar, volumes of water from the soil but less moisture is being
             replaced through precipitation. However the primary reason for the increase is
             the development of a more litigious culture and corresponding conservatism on
             the part of insurance companies. There are now far more arboricultural
             consultants dealing exclusively with subsidence type issues on the side of the
             insurance companies.
       1.1.2. Subsidence claims place particular pressure on local authorities to remove
             large mature trees, because they generally have greater demand for water.
             These trees (e.g. London planes and lime trees) were the preferred species
             planted by early street landscapers, not least because of their proven pollution
             tolerance. There is now a probably irreversible shift away from these very
             large trees in all but the widest London streets. Whilst this may be a sound
             arboricultural response to this problem, i.e. planting smaller species in
             accordance with the adage „Right Tree, Right Place‟, there is nevertheless an
             undeniable loss to both people and wildlife in the demise of the street giant.
       1.1.3. Even where large trees are not removed completely they are often pruned
             very heavily (know as pollarding) to reduce root growth and water demand.
             Where frequency of this type of heavy pruning is increased to bi annual or even
             annual the consequent interruption of the tree‟s physiological processes (i.e.
             severely reduced opportunity for photosynthesis) inevitably leads to a decline
             in vigour that can kill older trees.
   1.2. Development
       1.2.1. Building development is also adversely affecting trees in the street
             environment in a number of ways. Large and medium size property
             development often fails to comply fully with industry best practise (specifically
             the new British Standard – BS 5837 Trees in Relation to Construction:
             Recommendations 2005). The consequence all too often is that trees, which
             should have been retained or protected, are damaged or felled. Commercial
             considerations often militate against sound tree practice and enforcement varies
             considerably from borough to borough.
       1.2.2. Even very modest property development, e.g. individual house renovation,
             can significantly impact on street trees. Vehicles, skips, building materials and
             waste products damage all too frequently street trees, large and small. Even
             relatively minor damage can have fatal long term consequences for the tree
             with bark wounds creating the opportunity for fungal ingress and subsequent
             failure five, ten or twenty years later. Significant numbers of street trees failed
             in the recent high winds (18 Jan 2007) and in many cases the ingress of fungal
             that caused the tree to fail can be traced to earlier bark damage.
   1.3. Trenching Operations

      1.3.1. The very large number of street trees damage during the late 1980s by mass
            laying of cable TV services led to the creation of specific guidelines for utility
            companies and their responsibilities regarding trees (National Joint Utilities
            Guideline chapter 10 – known as NJUG 10). However that very good guidance
            is still breached on numerous occasions leading to substantial below ground
            damage. This damage can lead to direct failure due to loss of anchorage or
            more frequently subsequent decline and or failure resulting from fungal
2. New Trees
      2.1.1. There are very good examples of new street tree planting programmes, not
            least some delivered by Groundwork East London (GWEL) in partnership
            with Green Gateway. GWEL‟s former street tree specialist Rupert Bentley-
            Walls, now delivers street tree planting directly for the London Borough of
            Hackney (LBH) and a list of LBH planting in 2005/6 is attached. However
            such schemes are not universal in London.
      2.1.2. Even well designed street planting schemes with informed species selection
            face a number of problems.
      2.1.3. Funding for street trees is usually limited to less than that needed to plant all
            the trees required, partly because street tree planting is very expensive
            compared to planting in green space or less crowded environments.
      2.1.4. Finding room to place trees in streets now crowded with both above and
            below ground services can be extremely difficult. Streets which 20 years ago
            could easily have accommodated trees are now often so densely packed with
            under ground services, especially cable communications, are frequently
      2.1.5. The costs of contracted aftercare for new street trees often means aftercare is
            too limited or completely ignored. Some local authorities work on the basis
            that it is cheaper to replant than maintain although this is a dubious economy.
 New trees are far more vulnerable to vandalism an accidental damage
                  than established semi mature and mature trees.
3. Drought
 Perhaps the biggest problem facing new planting schemes is climate
                  change and the inevitable drought conditions London is facing almost
                  every year.
 Drastic reductions in precipitation and much higher summer
                  temperatures make the establishment of new trees in London much
                  harder. In addition to simple lack of water killing trees sun scorch from
                  heat reflected off hard surfaces is another killer.
 Climate change requires imaginative responses well beyond simply
                  changing planting specifications to species of lower water demand.
                  Whilst work on species selection is very important any tree will require
                  aftercare and schemes which have engaged local residents in watering
                  have proved considerably more successful than those which restrict
                  aftercare to professionals and contractors.
 Drought impacts heavily on older trees as well as young ones. The older
                  it is the less likely a tree will be able to adjust to repeated instances of
                  drought. Lack of water reduces a tree‟s ability to perform all its necessary
                  life functions and significantly increases vulnerability to pathogens. Many
                  decay fungi exploit both the stress and altered internal conditions brought
                  about by drought. Some, such as Honey Fungus and Phytophthora,
                  actively predate on weakened trees whilst many others simply exploit the
                  less saturated conditions within the wood accelerating decay.

                                                                                       48 Recent very high winds (30 Dec 2006 and 18 Jan 2007) resulted in the
                failure of many trees. In a very high proportion of cases (over 90% of
                those I have seen) failure resulted from stem or root decay. This is usual
                for windthrow but the incidence of failure may well have been increased
                because recent drought conditions have considerably accelerated rates of
                internal decay. In Hackney several cases of trees less than 20 years old
                have been recorded with root decay related failure and some initial
                evidence supports the hypothesis that drought played a part in the speed
                of degradation of wood compounds.
4. Improvements Obviously improved resources for maintenance, inspection and planting
                of street trees at the level of local authorities would assist. In additional to local authority arboriculture departments in many areas
                more could be done by planning departments by way of scrutiny of
                planning applications and enforcement of planning conditions. More Highways inspectors and prosecution of those damaging street
                trees would decrease instances of damage and increase awareness of the
                issue. More well planned planting schemes with maximum community
                participation in watering is a proven way to improve survival rates of
                young trees. As a corollary to the above increasing the number of rain water butts in
                front gardens can be of considerable assistance to community adoption
                and watering of new trees, especially during drought related hosepipe
                bans. Such measures should be encouraged in any event to conserve
                valuable rainwater otherwise lost in mains drainage.

   4.2. More specific studies could be undertaken to explore issues facing street trees and
        identify practical solutions to existing problems. Again community participation by
        way of reporting instances of damage, young tree failure, etc is both a cost effective
        and inclusive way of gathering information whilst at the same time raising
   4.3. Groundwork East London has pioneered community engagement in all areas of tree
        care with the Hackney Tree Carers‟ Project. This is now being developed further
        with the creation of an on line community tree network via a dedicated website.
        Such initiatives if repeated in other areas would serve to increase the reach of local
        authority officers through the eyes, ears and concern of local people.

Russell Miller
February 2007

Loss of Street Trees in London, an anecdotal perspective - Groundwork Community
Gardener, West London

Whilst trees improve quality of the street-scape for people living in the area, they cause a
mess in autumn and therefore bring about extra street cleaning costs.

I have noticed many Horse chestnuts being felled due to fungal/viral disease infections
which has weakens the trees. Exacerbated by drought many trees die, then are felled on
health and safety grounds.

Many street trees are being planted on streets far too narrow to support them.
Consequently, insufficient space for roots to grow results in sickly, unappealing trees that
often end up dying.

I have noticed most trees planted are non-natives. Some non-natives like plane trees tolerate
the dry conditions and root compacting better than many natives trees. Although better at
helping to improve air quality, they are less beneficial for wildlife.

Mark Patterson
February 2007


Dear Mr Johnson

Re: Loss of Street Trees Investigation

Thank you for your letter dated 15th December addressed to Sir Howard Bernstein. Sir
Howard has passed your letter to me for consideration.

Manchester City Council has recently produced a tree strategy, which includes street trees.
I detail below relevant information from that Strategy as requested.

The strategy has been produced with the aim of increasing the tree stock in the City,
protecting its present stock, and giving information as to why we need a good, safe and
appropriate tree stock and to give all interested parties the same aims.

Manchester has currently around 25,000 street trees.

These trees are planted adjacent to the highway either in the footpath or grass verges which
run along the highway.

Trees on open grass plots are not included in this number as they are classed as open plan

The number of street trees is increasing by around 800 trees per year this is accomplished
by our Arboricultural Section who have a budget for tree planting and by CASH grants
which are awarded to local communities following advice from the Council.

Tree Loss

There has been a small loss of large mature street trees due to problems with structural
damage adjacent to properties and damage to the public footpath.

In most cases this can be put down to the wrong tree in the wrong place.

However due to climate change we are now receiving more claims for structural damage
due to dehydration of sub-soils by adjacent street trees.

We have restricted the impact of large tree removals by phasing the number of removals
over long periods and planting suitable replacements. In some areas this period will be over
50 years dependent on the particular tree species.

In some areas of the City, the street tree stock is all of a similar age and therefore is
declining at the same time. Removal and replacement in these areas may have to be over a
shorter period.

This can be due to the fact that street tree management in the past was mainly only short-
term maintenance and was not done with long term strategy in mind.

The loss of trees such as Elms due to Dutch Elm disease had a dramatic impact on some
roads which were predominately planted with Elms. At the present time we are
experiencing problems with Bleeding Canker of Horse Chestnuts and this may have a
similar effect on some tree lined roads which are planted mainly with Horse Chestnut. We
aim to plant mixed species on highways to prevent such problems in the future.

Social Environmental Economic Benefits

The presence of high quality well maintained and correctly chosen species of trees on
streets significantly increases, not only the appearance of an area, but people‟s perceptions of
their surroundings.

Trees are a very emotive issue and involvement of residents for the planting, removal and
choice of replacement trees can bring a sense of unity to the residents and communities

Environmentally, the planting of trees on streets can increase the presence and variety of
birds in an area which again, can increase the perceptions residents have of their

Increased quality of life by correctly planted street trees can make an area more popular
with potential residents which can also increase economic benefits in an area.
Best Practice

Our street trees are inspected at regular intervals to determine their condition and possible
work requirements. Work programmes are produced and implemented to ensure the trees
are well maintained.

All street trees are entered onto a database which holds present and past inspections and
details all works undertaken on each individual tree.

Local residents are involved when trees are to be removed and when trees are to be planted.

Council Members and local residents are consulted and informed of the reasons for any tree

Manchester City Council will only plant new trees outside properties if the owner of the
property is in agreement or has directly requested it.

If a request is received from a resident, all properties on that stretch of road are letter
dropped informing them that it is proposed to plant trees on that road and if they would like
a tree they need to fill in the application form provided.

We find that when residents are involved the trees have a far better chance of survival.

Residents are given a choice of species and variety of the tree to be planted from a selected
list provided.

When large mature street trees are removed we aim to plant a similar species to keep the
character of an area, however, this is not always possible due to restricted space.

Policies for Street Trees

It is Manchester City Council‟s policy to make Manchester a greener city and by doing this,
our aim is to increase the number of street trees.

It is not Council policy to remove a street tree for TV or Sky reception. Pruning of trees
may improve TV reception and is therefore only short term. Such trees would require
regular pruning and is therefore not cost effective for the Council.

Tree Replacements

All our tree plantings are container grown and are grown in peat free compost.

We have noticed that climate change is beginning to affect our newly planted trees.
Therefore we are now looking to plant trees that will tolerate dryer conditions and
encourage residents to look after them by watering them.

The Council‟s future aim is not to plant any more large fruit producing trees as they can
cause problems to residents and transport. Current fruit bearing trees will be removed from
highways and will be replaced with a suitable replacement.

Below are some of the street trees we use in and around the City of Manchester.

Cercis siliquastrum
Betula pendula Tristis
Betula utilis Jacquemontii
Amelanchier lamarkii
Prunus cerasfera Nigra
Prunus Pandora
Prunus calleryana Chanticlear
Ligustrum lucidum Variegata
Tilia corata Greenspire

I hope the above information will prove useful. Please do not hesitate to contact me should
you require any further information.

Yours sincerely

Mike Reardon
Director, Neighbourhood Services
Manchester City Council

LS/ 016

Dear Katie

Thank you for your consultation document concerning the loss of street trees in London
and associated policies. Please find our submission below.

Q Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what is the impact
of this loss?

Lewisham along with the other boroughs has lost many street trees – this has primarily
been due to:
    -   Storm damage: e.g. 52 street trees and 40 estate trees fell in the storm of 18th
        January 2007
    -   Pollution: e.g. salting the roads
    -   Water levels; + or -, depending on the species and their needs, both a lack of water
        and over watering can be detrimental. Species specific water uptake requirement yet
        to be clearly researched?
    -   Physical requirements: the ideal of having a heavily mulched deep pit can be in
        conflict with public access depending on the paved area concerned
    -   Damage to property: proven cases of subsidence that necessitates the trees removal
    -   Development: Despite the British Standards that need to be followed on
        construction sites there is no true operational mechanism for the enforcement and
        monitoring of works to ensure that tree damage to retained trees does not happen.
    -   Trees declining in health due to disease
    -   Age – a fair percentage of trees are reaching the end of their natural life

Every effort is made to replace trees removed and Lewisham has an annual re-planting
programme. The number of trees planted however fluctuates annually depending on budget
availability and project funding.

Q What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have proved most
suitable for London's street environment? Which types of trees will need to be planted in the future to
mitigate any effects from climate change?
An outline of the variety of trees chosen, along with their advantages and disadvantages is
listed below:

SPECIES          ADVANTAGES                                DISADVANTAGES
Cherry           Very attractive when in bloom.            Roots of this tree are more inclined
(PRUNUS) -       Amanogawa variety chosen due to           than others to push up towards the
varieties        columnar shape which maximizes            surface and cause potential trip
                 pavement access where this is of a        hazards and pavement lift.

Birch            The tall slim shape again is ideal        High growth rate and don‟t take to
(BETULA) -       where width is an issue. The overall      pruning back very well – issue of
varieties        look of the varieties available is very   impeding BT lines therefore harder
                 attractive and „softens‟ the look of a    to resolve
                 built up area. Of high biodiversity
Lime (TILIA)     Bears pollution very well and is          Epicormic and basal growth
- varieties      slow growing hence has been               needing annual maintenance. Also
                 traditionally planted as an „avenue‟      many old limes exist close to
                 tree. The striking lime green leaf        buildings so there are subsidence
                 contrasts nicely with the near black      issues. Furthermore sap is inclined
                 bark so again is visually very            to weep from the leaves in summer
                 attractive.                               and leaves sticky deposits on cars
London Plane     Very tolerant of pollution and            Pollution aside is of low
(PLATINUS        pruning. Many mature species in           biodiversity value. Leaf litter more
hispanica)       place from historical planting            significant as the least degradable.
                 regimes. „Flaking‟ bark gives             Many mature „avenue‟ species line
                 visually attractive impression            Victorian streets where the
                                                           subsidence claims are more
                                                           significant in monetary terms.
Whitebeam        Very attractive compact tree with         Round crown can restrict areas
(SORBUS)         limited growth height                     chosen. Small fruit drop.
Rowan            Fairly columnar in shape so suitable Fruit drop occasionally a problem.
(SORBUS)         for streets. The fruit of many
varieties        varieties provides food for wild birds
Apple            Some varieties reliable „all rounders‟    Fruit fall
(MALUS)          with white blossom and yellow
varieties        fruits
Pear (PYRUS)     Both species of medium height and         Fruit fall
varieties        initially columnar in shape.
Chanticleer      Tolerant of air pollution and wind.
and Redspire     Pretty blossom and nice colour in
                 the winter

   Whilst a variety of trees can be considered due to their advantages listed above all trees
   have the propensity to cause problems in street locations in so much as there is diverse
   opinion amongst the public regarding such „problems‟. All species can be criticized for
   their fruit, flower and/or leaf fall & blocking light (there is a limit to the extend of

pruning that can be carried out and, depending upon the age of the tree, light may still
be a problem).
Varieties of high biodiversity value: Such as oaks, hawthorns etc are not suitable for
most street locations.

Q What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?

Aside from the obvious amenity value street trees impact:
       Air Quality – in combating pollution
       Biodiversity – supporting a wide variety of species and offering habitat
       Health – the links between having greener and more natural environments and
        levels of physical and mental well being are well documented.
       Economic – Well landscaped areas encourage further development
       Energy – can have thermal benefits for buildings protected from prevailing

Q What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
Very little formal best practice guidance is available for the management of street trees.
Local boroughs have been left to develop their own models of management, which have
       Cyclical maintenance programmes
       Tree stock audits to evaluate numbers and condition status
       Including residents in species choice
       A „right tree right place‟ approach
       The promotion, and ongoing monitoring of, high quality operational standards
        (sapling ties/pruning methods/watering regimes etc)
       Improved communication nationally re important issues such as potential disease
        (i.e. guidance re Cameraria ohridella)

Q How are the Mayor’s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
developments, such as the Thames Gateway?

Not all new developments have „street‟ trees. The issue of tree inclusion within
developments does not follow any specific policy and may be considered on design
grounds rather than environmental/beneficial appropriateness.
The London Plan states that there should be „no net loss of habitat‟ and developers
should be taking into account the „Avoid‟, „Mitigate‟ and „Compensate‟ process. It is
unclear whether this is being employed in practice.

    Q How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
    maintenance and management of London’s street trees?
    This document makes very few references to street trees and is woodland orientated.
    Objective A1 serves to „safeguard and improve the management of London‟s existing
    tree and woodland resource‟ – please find below aims identified in this document with
    AIM OF TREE AND                            COMMENTS
1   Resources for tree protection and          Whilst street trees are included in overall
    management should be prioritised           resources allocated for trees, traditionally trees
    towards street trees                       have not always been viewed as having „monetary‟
                                               value, therefore their management has not been of
    Priority: High
                                               high priority per se. Housing/Park/Other trees
    Mechanism: Borough tree                    often fall within the same budget with Health and
    strategies                                 Safety priorities governing budget spend.
2   Establish common management                The reflects the current situation in so much as
    principles to be followed across           there is no London tree strategy and this is a
    London. Develop a London Tree              need.
    (Management) strategy which
    provides principles and proposals for
    streets tress, park tree and garden tree
    Priority Medium
    Mechanism: Guidance and
    management strategy
3   Actively support the role of local         Aside from the historical approach to resourcing
    borough tree officers and woodland         tree maintenance (see 1 above), the importance of
    managers, by increasing the political      their benefits is not always
    profile of trees and proactively           recognised/appreciated. A general raising of
    encouraging adequate budget                awareness is needed through all levels of local
    provision for tree maintenance.            authority governance and management.
    Priority: High
    Mechanism: Policy / Liaison with
    Borough Chief Executives and

    Q What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
A more robust enforceable policy with guidance could be developed and disseminated – this
could then be incorporated into Local Development Frameworks. In terms of the
Framework document, the Aim (3 above) is good however there is no indication as to how
this will be achieved.

Your Sincerely

John Thompson
Head of Green Scene
LB Lewisham


Dear Mr Davies,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the above, please find below my thoughts regarding
your 7 questions.

1. Yes there has been a loss of street trees in London, some of the reasons for this are as

A) In borough council replacement programmes maintenance specifications were to irrigate
the trees in summer or replace the tree if it perished.                    It was more cost
effective for the contractor to do the latter and the trees were replaced, however the
situation was then perpetuated onto the next summer where no contractual obligation was
in place to irrigate or replace the second tree replacement when or if it perished. Also
replacement trees can not be planted correctly because the felled tree stump it may be
planted on could not be ground out sufficiently. An option could be to engineer a new pit if
possible or after service lines had been rigorously checked the stump ground out
completely, both options have similar cost implications of an extra £150 - £200 per tree.

B) Borough councils have found it difficult to find funding and maintenance for the planting
of street trees.

However over the last five years Street Tree Ltd and central London borough council
officers have improved fund raising to plant street trees through the landfill Tax credit
scheme and enforced irrigation programmes as an alternative to replacement, therefore
bringing a more equal ratio to trees lost through disease/over maturity etc against newly
trees planted.

On average 200-250 street trees are lost and 200-250 have been planted in Central
London boroughs per year over the last 4-5 years, this amount would be less in Chelsea
and Kensington due to its smaller borough size.
Pathogens causing basal and stem decay have largely been the reason for more mature
street trees being lost. Possible measures to counter future fungal infections would be to
insist that all stock planted are containerised as opposed to root ball and bare root stock
which have had roots cut and therefore more susceptible to soil-water borne pathogens. Try
and give the tree base good aeration with planting mediums with a large ratio of sand and /
or 10-5mm aggregate. Stem decay could be avoided in some cases when stakes and guards
are installed making sure that there is no friction between the rubber stoppers or Arbotech
tree restraint over its first years of establishment. This again can break the cambium under
the bark and allow infection from air borne pathogens. Provision should also be made to
remove guards and stakes when the tree is established after approx 3-5 years.

2. Pyrus calleryana ‘chanticleer’ (Bradford Pear) is being planted extensively as a street
tree in London. This is largely to do with its small medium size apex crown (10-15Metres)
and toleration of the urban environment, It was planted on Oxford St approximately 12

years ago and has been successful in all urban planting projects throughout London. Some
of the first were planted 25 years ago in Kilburn Park and now stand a good 10M high.

Platanus x hispanica (London Plane) is still planted throughout London but its use has
been reduced largely due to the large size of its canopy ( 30 M + at maturity ) making it
expensive to prune and maintain. It is extremely fast growing and tolerates urban
conditions although its contribution to SPM‟s (suspended particulate matter) is a serious
cause for concern.

Outside of these two core species a whole range of trees are used including traditional street
tree species such as Sorbus ssp ( rowan, whitebeam etc ), Prunus ssp ( cherry ) and Betula
ssp ( Birch) also more unusual exotic trees are being trialled to counter climate change
including Photinia, Ligustrum. Gingko biloba has also been popular over the past decade.
Acer campestre „Streetwise‟ ( upright field maple ) is a species that performs well in an
urban environment and is native to the UK and should be included in any local authorities
bio diversity action plan. Hornbeam ( Carpinus betulus ) is also native but is slow to
establish and quick to burn in dry conditions.

Climate change has not caused any immediate problems to London‟s street trees, it
maintains its own micro climate and trees with a high water demand should and usually are
excluded, these include Salix ssp and Populus ssp, Alnus is another water demanding
species, however it is well suited to London‟s clay subsoil and establishes quickly, it also has
a relatively narrow crown which suits streets but as it has a high water demand it is
associated with subsidence claims.

3. Many extensive studies have gone into the social, environmental and economic benefits of
street trees. For instance a research in Chicago that linked analyses of vegetation structure
with forest functions and values. During 1991, the regions trees removed an estimated 5575
metric tons of air pollutants, providing air cleansing worth $9.2 million. Each year they
sequester an estimated 315 800 metric tons of carbon. Increasing tree cover 10% or planting
about three trees per building lot saves annual heating and cooling costs by an estimated
$50 to $90 per dwelling unit because of increased shade, lower summertime air
temperatures, and reduced neighborhood wind speeds once the trees mature. The net
present value of the services trees provide is estimated as $402 per planted tree. The present
value of long-term benefits is more than twice the present value of costs. However this and
other reports are open to interpretation. The Chicago report sites that a row of well
maintained street trees can affect its direct property value by as much as 12-15%, this can be
misleading. However even if correctly planted and maintained street trees could add as little
as 1-5% to a property value, at an average of £300,000 per residence in London!
Factors bringing down its value are things like light depravation, debris etc these are all
factors that can affect a trees value negatively and measures have to be taken that these
factors are taken into account when selecting species i.e. Some Tiilia species cause black
sooty mould and aphid honeydew, Platanus species give off millions of hairs that are an
irritant especially when its sterile seed pods are shed in April and May. Species with a light,
less dense canopy should be selected when put directly outside residences, care should be
taken when possible to site the trees not directly outside windows and doors and maintained
to an excellent standard.

4. In central London boroughs trees are maintained to a high standard and best practice is
achieved to a good standard with correct pruning enforcement and rigorous risk

assessment, however best value always factors highly and therefore maintenance practice‟s
on street trees could be improved, like everything with more resources.

5. I am unaware of the Mayors policies on street trees regarding developments, however
If 200,000 homes are proposed then a target of 100,000 street trees could be planted along
side them creating a new ‘National Urban Forest’.

6. To my knowledge the Tree and Woodland framework has little or no input towards
specifically protecting and managing street trees in London.

7. Improvements to policies regarding street trees would again be implemented with the
provision of more funding for better resources in arboricultural departments.

This could be achieved possibly by lobbying Customs and Excise and the Landfill
Communities Scheme to reverse the decision to exclude street trees from funding proposals.

A policy could also include councils to work tightly with section 106 agreements with
developers to insist new street trees be included and maintained whenever possible.

A call in the House of Commons to introduce a new Incineration Tax to accompany the
Landfill Communities Tax which has to date given approximately £7-800,000,000 to
environmental projects in the UK.
With the tax paid by Incinerator companies, a percentage could be claimed back to fund
environmental projects including street trees in areas within 10 miles radius of an
incinerator. In London‟s case the entire north-central London would be covered with
Edmonton‟s incinerator.

Please note the views expressed in this letter pertains to works undertaken only in the
Central London boroughs of Westminster, Camden, Islington, Chelsea and Kensington,
Tower Hamlets and Southwark.

Chris Suthers
Chairman, Street Tree Ltd

Dear Mr Johnson

Loss of Street Trees in London

I refer to your request for information regarding the above matter and can offer the
following with regard to the impact on the London Borough of Havering

1.    Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so what are the reasons and what is
      the impact of this loss ?
      There has been a steady reduction in the number of street trees in Havering. The
         reasons include loss through disease, vandalism and storm damage and vehicular
         damage. Furthermore there has been an increase in insurance claims citing trees as
         being the major factor in damage to property, including the highways infrastructure.
         With limited maintenance budget allocation, the continued maintenance and
         management of the remaining street tree stock is regarding as being the most

         effective use of resources. The overall number of street trees in Havering has
         reduced from 24,000 to approximately 23,500 over the course of the last 8 years,
         although there has been a concerted effort to replace over mature trees with
         additional smaller species through Capital Budget schemes during the last 3 years.
        The impact of the loss is reduced environmental benefits to local residents and
         wildlife and a negative impact on the street scene

2.    What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have
      proved most suitable for London‟s street environment? Which types of trees will need
      to be planted in the future to mitigate the effects from climate change.
      There have been a variety of species planted including smaller ornamental species.
      The most suitable for Havering has been Maples ( field and Norway Maple),
         Sycamores and Chestnuts
      Trees that are probably more drought resistant include Maples, Sycamores
         Chestnuts and some Prunus

3.    What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
      The obvious benefits of trees on the public highway are their ability to produce
       oxygen and absorb pollution. They provide shade and wildlife habitats and a sense of
       connectivity with nature

4.    What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
      Risk Assessments to ascertain health of the tree and damage to highways
       infrastructure and private properties
      Whole street heavy pruning programmes and light pruning programmes for smaller
      Crown lifting to reduce conflict with pedestrians and vehicles
      Crown reductions to reduce the weight and spread of larger trees
      Identification and replacement of over mature street trees to reduce associated risks
      Removal of epicormic growth to ensure sight lines are maintained and to keep
       footways clear

5.    How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
      developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
      The identification of common species in order to achieve a coherent and co-ordinated
         tree stock

6.    How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
      maintenance and management of London‟s street trees?
      The framework provides guidance, but local conditions and circumstances may
        dictate alterations in the implementation

7.    What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
      Street trees can be a very emotive subject for residents and policies must take into
       account the effect trees can have on peoples lives, both negative and positive
      Education of the wider issues relating to the current practice of paving over gardens
       and streets and the effect it has on water penetration, which in turn has a
       detrimental effect on trees

Yours sincerely

John Gross
StreetCare Co-ordinator
LB Havering

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

Thank you for your letter of 15 December 2006 and the opportunity to comment on street

I have responded to your questions individually on the attached document, based upon our
experience and observations. However as the majority of London‟s street trees are owned
and managed by local authorities I feel they will be better placed to provide more detail on
some of the questions.

I can advise that I would be willing for The Royal Parks to attend the public meeting on 8
March 2007.

Yours sincerely
Mark Camley
Chief Executive

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation
Comments/observations from The Royal Parks:

Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what is the
impact of this loss?
Probably not in overall numbers and in some areas they may possibly be local increases.
However the tree stock seems to have changed significantly with an increased proportion of
young trees and a reduction in the scale of the “street tree landscape” due to removal and
replacement. The extent of any change in species selection e.g. a move away from larger
forest type trees should be assessed.

What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have
proved most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of trees will
need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate change?
A wide range of trees are being planted. Some boroughs are using more adaptive species e.g.
plane, alder, gingko. Some trees being planted such as tree privet, olive and certain conifers
will be more tolerant of drier summers.
What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
A number of studies recognise that street trees bring enormous benefits. In addition to the
“Tree and London Framework” authors of previous studies include the Countryside Agency
and Forestry Commission to which reference should be made for more information.
What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
There are a number of guides that are of some use including various planning guidance
notes. There are also guidance notes relating to trees and foundations and for good practice

in tree husbandry. However there is not much generally available detailed reference
material specifically designed for street tree management.
Many local authorities have their own strategies for street trees with regard to tree
selection – maximum size, growth rate and water demand and also to inspection and
maintenance regimes.
The planning and establishment of young street trees requires a specific management input.
A major factor for tree success is ensuring that suitability sized tree pits are provided.
How are the Mayor’s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London’s street trees?
The Framework is still fairly new and although not specific to street trees it is the start of
the development of guidance for street tree management.
What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
Suggested areas:
    Need to ensure adequate space is left in new developments for tree planning of a
      suitable scale and structure.
    Improved guidance on tree choice to help ensure the right tree species in the right
    Improved standards for planting, in particular enhance tree pit preparation.
    Clear policies regarding managing planting on clay soils.
    Review of gritting where there is a risk of impact on street tree roots.


Dear Richard,

Re: Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation
In answer to your questions which you have submitted to the London Borough of Hackney
in my position of Arboricultural Officer in Streetscene Services (Highways and
          Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and
           what is the impact of this loss?
 On the current records we are collating we are loosing approximately 120 Street trees per
year through Natural Senility (30%) eg. age, condition, Insurance Related Matters (40%) eg.
removal through mitigations, Climatic Conditions (30%) eg. wind, and extreme summer
temperatures. This loss is has environmental impact on age of the tree resource the visual
loss of amenity and peoples perception of this loss both positive and negative. * At present
we do not have a tree data base and have not carried out a conditional survey of our tree
resource which we are looking at undertaking soon. An asset inventory was undertaken
recently which we have a tree population on the highway of 7000 trees in the Borough this
does not take into account Parks, Housing and other areas where trees are lost.

          What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types
           have proved most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of
           trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate
I have attached a list of tree species which have been planted on the streets of Hackney
which is certainly not exhaustive. In light of the extreme temperatures which has happened
in recent seasons small leaved trees are suffering from surface reflection from pavements,
vehicles and buildings greater selection for the right place right tree
          What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
          What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
We have a robust street tree planting and maintenance specification for young trees which
is being assessed on an annual basis to ensure best practice with contractor is being
achieved. Improved training of operatives needs to be achieved.
We are presently looking into the management practices for maintaining the existing tree
resource for effective management to ensure we are prolonging this asset to take into
account trees within a urbanised area and the fine balance with this.
          How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when
           planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
The Borough is producing a Boroughwide Tree Strategy and Policy document. The Mayor
has made a commitment to plant 1,000 street trees in his manifesto over the next 3 years.
The Borough has recently undertaken the replanted of 650 visible vacant street trees in the
Borough this is a drop in the ocean within this borough and adequate resources and support
needs to be though through so that the new resource and existing can be adequately
maintained throughout their lifespan.
          How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the
           protection, maintenance and management of London‟s street trees?
The Tree and Woodland Framework has an over arching approach which is the basis for
enabling the individual borough‟s, agencies, partner groups etc to look to adopting their
own strategies and policies for a comprehensive approach for trees and wider environment.
          What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
Greater understanding of available funding streams? for street trees both on the
implementation and future management with the time involved to adequately staff and
finance such work.
The delivery mechanisms of street trees on the public highway with the involvement of the
community to how they are engaged in this process.
Actions speak more than words which tree officers alike, need support and value in
protecting this fragile resource for future generations to appreciate.
Yours sincerely,

Rupert Bentley Walls
Arboricultural Officer
Streetscene Services (Highways & Engineering)
Neighbourhoods and Regeneration

LB Hackney


Dear Richard,

In response to the letter sent by Darren Johnson on the 15th of December 2006, I make the
following comments in my capacity as the Tree Service Manager of the London Borough of

        Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what
is the impact of this loss?
Street Trees are lost in Islington each year. However the overall number of street trees has
increased on average by 1% per year.
The main reasons for trees being removed are as follows:
Subsidence issues.
Development pressures.
Pest and diseases.
Environmental pressures such as climate change and pollution.
Trees have come to the end of their useful lives (it should be noted that a large amount of
street trees were planted in the early 1970s, a number of the small ornamental varieties are
now coming to an end of their useful lives.
     What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have
        proved most suitable for London's street environment?
Non native trees that come from environments similar to those now found in London
Streets. Eg Himalayan Birch, Ginko, London Plane tree.
     Which types of trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects
        from climate change?
Non native trees that come from environments similar to those predicted that London will
have in the future.
     What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
               They filter airborne dust and pollution.
               They absorb traffic noise in built-up areas.
               They reduce temperature extremes and generate breezes.
               They provide shade.
               They convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, increasing the quality of the air on a
        local basis.
               They provide food and nesting sites for birds, other animals and insects thus
        increasing nature conservation value of an area.
               They are a comparatively low maintenance addition to the landscape in terms
        of their high visual impact given the right species selection.
               They act as a buffer between the stresses of modern urban living and
        improve the quality of life for people living and working in towns.
               They provide many psychological and health benefits. Trees have been
        shown to reduce stress significantly ("Human Responses to Vegetation and
        Landscapes." 1986. Dr. Roger Ulrich. Landscape and Urban Planning, 13: 29-44.
        Urban Nature Benefits: Psycho-Social Dimensions of People and Plants. 1999. Center for
        Urban Horticulture. The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective. 1989.
        Kaplan, R. and S. Kaplan. Cambridge University Press).
        They also increase local property values: a survey of any Estate Agent's window will
always show more expensive properties being in "tree lined streets".

       What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
Nothing specific for street tree management, numerous documents, British standards,
guidelines dealing with certain aspects of tree management e.g The London Tree Officers
Association Risk Limitation Strategy.
     How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when
        planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
     How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the
        protection, maintenance and management of London‟s street trees?
The framework has had virtually no effect on the protection, maintenance and management
of Islinton‟s street trees. I feel the document does not pay nearly enough regard to this
highly important and threatened asset. However I am confident that the Tree and
Woodland Framework Manager will have a positive effect.
     What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
It should be a statutory requirement that the overall number of street trees in a borough
stays at its current size, if not increases.
Transport for London management of the trees on their road networks leaves a lot to be
desired and the major should take steps to ensure that these trees are maintained properly
and proper tree planting programmes are undertaken.

I would be happy to attend the public meeting at 10am on Thursday 8 March 2007 at City


Jake Tibbetts
Tree Service Manager
Greenspace & Leisure Services
Islington Council


Dear Mr Johnson
Loss of street trees in London
Thank you for your letter regarding this investigation, which was passed to me for
response, by our Chief Executive, Helen Phillips.
Natural England was created in October 2006 by bringing together parts of the
Countryside Agency, English Nature and the Rural Development Service (RDS). The work
of Natural England is led by four strategic outcomes:
     A Healthy Natural Environment
     Enjoyment of the Natural Environment
     Sustainable Use of the Natural Environment
     A Secure Environmental Future
English Nature was very much involved in the development of the Mayor‟s London Tree
and Woodland Framework and we believe that overall it is fit for purpose.
As we generally work at this strategic level and do not have any day to day involvement in
street trees or their care and maintenance, we are unable to contribute to your detailed lines
of enquiry on these matters. Unless, for example, they have a direct impact on a nationally
designated site like a Site of Special Scientific Interest, we would not be responding to
individual planning applications.

However, we are helping to fund a study this coming year, with the Forestry Commission,
the GLA and the Royal Horticultural Society, to look at the issue of street trees and climate
change for example how resilient some species may be to water shortages and higher
temperatures. At the end of the study we hope to produce some guidance on the factors that
need to be taken into account when people are planning to plant street trees in the future.
Natural England has been very involved in the development of the Green Grid for the
London Thames Gateway and the Tree and Woodland Framework is complimentary to
that work. As a whole therefore we feel that the Mayor‟s London Tree and Woodland
Framework has the right policies in place to ensure that street trees contribute to corridors
and links between green spaces. It is important though, that resources are made available to
support the implementation of the policies.
I would very much like the opportunity to discuss the work of Natural England in London
(already outlined briefly in the letter from Helen Phillips) further with you, outside of this
particular investigation and perhaps I can contact you within the next month to arrange a
convenient date?

Yours sincerely

Alison Barnes
Director, Natural England London Region


Please see below, I have left gaps in your questions; however, I trust the information I have
provided will be of some assistance.

Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what
is the impact of this loss?

The majority of street trees are ornamental trees (Purple plums, Japanese cherries, etc),
with a number of Forest tree pollards and a relatively small number of Mature Forest type
trees. The total number of trees is approximately 20,872.

Council Policy allows trees to be removed where they are dead, structurally unstable, a
hazard to users of the Highway and where approval has been obtained, trees are removed
for some Carriage Crossings, Insurance Claims for subsidence and for Highway
construction works.

Trees have become an important part of the urban landscape and their loss is frequently
highlighted by resident, councillor residents association enquiries into their loss and

Please see the attached spreadsheet detailing tree removals and replanting works since 1994
on Highway sites. (Fell to plant ratio.xls)

What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have
proved most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of trees will
need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate change?

Removed forest type pollarded trees (In roads containing a majority of Pollards) are
replaced with forest species that will become new pollards, as we wish to maintain the
existing pollarded tree lined roads.

Where distances to structures and soil condition permit we will plant forest type trees.

In shrub beds and on grass we normally plant fruiting trees.

Elsewhere we plant Cherries, golden alders and Amelanchier, where distances to properties
dictate a smaller tree.

We plant a wide range of species on the streets and climate change is one of the many
factors involved in selecting the correct tree for each site.

What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
Numerous benefits...

What best practice exists in the management of street trees?

All Highway trees are inspected annually, missing trees and trees identified for removal
(Dead and Dangerous) are recorded on a database and works are issued for completion
during the planting season. Funds are available to remove and then replant all missing trees
on a one for one basis.

Additional funds are annually obtained to increase the population, in some cases with great
assistance from the public (One Resident has been involved since before 2001 and she
accounts for the initial peak in planting numbers)

How are the Mayor's policies regarding street trees taken into account when
planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?

How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London's street trees?

What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?

Redbridge needs to complete our tree strategy so that all operations within and outside of
the council take notice of street trees. Damage and unauthorised removals are carried out

with alarming frequency and a strategic overview of all factors needs to completed to
minimise future damage.

Peter Marshall
Arboricultural Officer
Contract Consultancy Unit
Redbridge Council


Dear Mr Davies

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

I am writing in response to the questions raised in your letter dated 8th January 2007.

The OAA represents fifty six organisations involved in the outdoor advertising industry.
Of the fifty six, twenty one companies are specifically involved in providing and maintaining
billboards, bus shelters and other street furniture, and look after the advertisements placed
on those sites. Our members supply over 113,000 sites in Great Britain to Local Authorities
and private landlords, in exchange for advertising rights. As part of their ongoing
obligations, our members usually have a contractual commitment to clean and maintain
these public amenities on a repeated basis, in addition to their commercial duty to replace
advertisements on a regular basis.

Firstly, as part of our planning consents to develop these sites our members, where
appropriate, may install landscaping schemes involving tree planting which make a positive
contribution to the stock of street trees across the UK.

In answer to your specific questions –

Q.     Has there been a loss of street trees in London?
A.     We are not aware of any loss of trees.

Q.     What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees …?
A.     This is not relevant to our expertise.

Q.     What are the social environmental and econometric benefits of street trees?
A.     This is not relevant to our expertise.

Q.     What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
A.     This is not relevant to our expertise.

Yours sincerely

Alan James
Chief Executive
Outdoor Advertising Association


In terms of providing a little context I would like to give a brief explanation of my role
within Greenwich Council. I am employed by the Boroughs Highways Department to
manage its stock of street trees (Other officers deal with tree management in Parks and
Housing Estates). At present I am working towards a formalised management plan for
street trees but the Councils general policy on trees on the Public Highway adopted in 1998
is as follows:

It will be the general aim to maintain a healthy tree stock for future generations whilst at the same
time ensuring trees are not a financial burden to the community.

This will be achieved by adopting a programme of selective removal and replacement of trees that
have become old and large enough to cause significant problems.

There will be a programme of cyclical pruning with priority being given to high-risk clay areas.

Healthy trees should not be removed unless they are:

a) In the way of development where there is no alternative for access for traffic or services.

b) Causing damage to property and pruning is unlikely to halt the damage.

c) Causing a hazard to highway users.

Future tree planting shall in the main be restricted to species factor 3,4 & 5 of the
Arboriculturel Associations Subsidence Risk Assessment Manual. Where practical, there
should be a preference to use native species as an environmental/ecological measure.

Over the last 3 years I have been carrying out a condition survey of the street tree
population. The information I am gathering will allow me to develop a formalised
management regime that will be generally proactive rather that reactive. I have attached
copies of recent documents written by myself that will give you some indication of both our
current tree replacement strategy and the cost implications of managing our current stock
of street trees. The Documents were intended to provide a perspective for Chief Officers &
Councillors and it must be remembered that it is contextual and relates to this particular
Borough. Also they are part of an ongoing process and will be revisited once the condition
survey is complete and we have more up to date information. I would therefore request
they are not circulated to other parties, that it remains confidential and is used only to
provide background information on street tree management within this Borough.

With regard to your list of questions I will be in the main be succinct and answer them in
the order you have put them.

       There has certainly been a loss in the total number of mature street trees in
        Greenwich and I am sure this is also the case for many other Boroughs across
        London. During our ongoing condition survey we have removed approximately
        1,000 mature trees, in addition we have also lost between 400-500 young trees that
        have been planted since 1999. The losses of mature trees include over/late mature
        and diseased trees, trees that present a heightened safety risk to road users, trees
        that are now becoming an economic burden because of damage to footways etc, trees

    that have been inappropriately planted and present an unsustainable burden on a
    shrinking maintenance budget. In addition loses can also be attributed to subsidence
    and other damage to private property, the provision of off street parking,
    development, utility maintenance, vandalism, adverse environmental conditions
    (drought). The impact of the losses in Greenwich is difficult to assess but it has been
    somewhat off set by replacement planting where possible (approx 1200 trees planted
    in since 2004). In the main losses have been spread relatively evenly across the
    Borough and this dilution has probably reduced both the visual impact and the
    adverse affects on general amenity. Where heavy losses have been sustained in
    individual streets the negative impacts are obvious and many residents have found it
    upsetting. In such cases the priority has been to replant as soon as possible.
    Although replanting cannot hope to compensate for the loss of mature trees it will at
    least provide some potential for the future and if tree replacement is planned it can
    give a feeling of a natural progression.

   In the main native or semi-native trees are planted to encourage or maintain bio-
    diversity. Where there are liveability issues, a high potential for collision damage or
    restricted planting sites, ascending or fastigiated varieties are preferred. Species
    selection is also based on site conditions in an attempt to ensure that the economic
    burden of ongoing maintenance is kept to a minimum. Climate change has also been
    considered and where opportunities arise non traditional & non native species that
    are drought resistant are being planted. The success of this type of planting is by no
    means assured as drought is only one of many hostile conditions that street trees

   The social, environmental and economic advantages of trees have been well
    researched and described. This being the case I do not feel there is much that I
    could add to current thinking.

    There are of course relevant standards and guidelines that cover pruning works
    (BS3998), development, construction close to tree (BS5837), and the maintenance of
    public utilities close to trees (NJUG 10). There are also statutory obligations
    concerning the maintenance of good access to the Highways for users. Where
    appropriate I am sure that all tree officers try to ensure that these practices are
    followed. Apart from the above the general husbandry of trees will mainly be
    determined by the site and conditions of a particular location. In this Borough we
    are trying to develop maintenance regimes and planting programmes that take
    account of carriageway use, soil type, distance to property, liveability, bio-diversity
    & sustainability. In addition a regular system of inspection is in place to monitor the
    health of this Boroughs street trees. The inspection regime exceeds the minimum
    provision laid down under the Highways Act.

   I regret to say that I have very little involvement with development and therefore
    have little knowledge of how the Mayor‟s policies are taken into account at the
    planning stage.

   Although I am aware of the Tree & Woodland Framework I regret to say that its
    impact has probably been minimal in terms of protecting street trees in London and
    will continue to be until our green environment is given a higher priority and taken
    more seriously. The maintenance of the green environment is not a statutory
    responsibility, as this is the case it will always be a target when local authorities are

       looking for savings. I am expecting a cut in the street tree maintenance budget in
       2007-8. This will be absorbed by a reduction in the size of our tree replacement
       programme and if ongoing will result in a gradual decline in tree numbers.

      If given the time I am sure I could come up with a more extensive wish list for policy
       improvements but failing that I would like to suggest the following:

       1) Improved resources to aid in the development of Borough Management plans
       London wide and better protection of maintenance budgets. Additional funding in
       the short term to replace inappropriate trees with more suitable specimens will
       result in lower maintenance cost in the long-term.

       2) Improvements in water management on public footways to ensure that rainwater
       is allowed to percolate into the ground rather than directed into drains. This can
       also be applied to water falling onto roof space. Better utilisation of this potential
       resource could result in a reduction in tree losses from subsidence claims. I believe
       this to be especially important if the effects of climate change are to be mitigated.

       3) Planning controls that ensure that the construction of hard standing areas for off
       street parking takes into account the same principles as above.

       4) Better long-term management of utilities with local authorities given power to
       penalise companies that cause unnecessary damage to trees during routine

       5) Improved building regulations to ensure that low-rise buildings are adequately
       constructed to alleviate potential problems from adjacent trees.

       6) More involvement in the development process by tree officers to reduce
       incidences of inappropriate tree planting and to identify potential sites for additional
       tree planting.

Bob Charlton.
(Street Tree Officer London Borough of Greenwich)


Statement prepared by R. Martin Kelly DipLA Dip UD MA UD FLI FIHT
Managing Director of Lovejoy

February 2007


1.1 I am a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer and hold the Diploma of
Landscape Architecture (Leeds), Diploma in Urban Design and Master of
Arts in Urban Design (Oxford). I am a Fellow of the Landscape Institute and
Fellow of the Institution of Highways and Transportation. I am the
Managing Director of Derek Lovejoy London Limited, landscape architects,
urban designers and land planners. I have been in practice for over twentyfive
years, during which time I have given evidence at Public Inquiries on
Environmental Impact Assessment, Landscape, Townscape and Visual
matters on many occasions.

1.2 My firm has been in practice for some forty-five years. It has been
commissioned by central and local government authorities, privatised utility
companies, public companies and private clients. It has been called upon
for professional advice on the landscape assessment, townscape and
environmental impact assessment and detailed design of a wide variety of
developments. My firm has received over sixty Civic Trust or similar design
awards for its work, plus many prizes in national and international
competitions. I have personally been involved in many of these projects.

1.3 I have prepared many articles and book reviews for the technical press and
have given lectures on professional practice and landscape matters in the
UK, Europe and Overseas. I have represented the Landscape Institute on
many occasions on the Fellowship Interview Panel, at CABE workshops
and have commissioned a number of related landscape research studies.

1.4 I have lived in London for some twenty-five years as a land planning
practitioner. During this time, I have undertaken watercolour paintings of
London landscape and townscape scenes. Since the early 1980‟s, I have
observed the changes in London‟s street trees and tree cover in general.


2.1 On the 11 January 2007, I received a letter from Darren Johnson, Chair,
London Assembly Environment Committee, inviting me to provide a written note of my
experience regarding street trees. A copy of this letter is attached
at Appendix 1 to this statement.

2.2 In response to this, I have provided this written note of my experience
regarding street trees. I understand that the investigation will primarily focus
on assessing how effective the Mayor of London‟s tree and woodland
framework has been regarding the protection, maintenance and management
of London‟s street trees. In his letter dated 11 January 2007, Darren Johnson
requested a response to a number of specific questions.

2.3 In my evidence, I have set out my preliminary responses to the seven points
raised. However, I would stress that these responses are not based on
empirical evidence, nor detailed research, but rather from personal
observation as a London based professional practitioner and painter. My
statement is set in the context of the following three areas of concern: -

• Visual evidence of the implications of street tree loss on the character of
London‟s environment.
• The legacy for future generations, if we do not establish an agreed
succession policy for structural / veteran trees.
• Professional and personal interest to ensure that issues impeding the
succession of tree planting in our streets and squares are resolved so that
London can benefit from the environmental, cultural and aesthetic value of

2.4 To explore these issues and those raised in the Environment Committee‟s
letter dated 11 January 2007, I convened a meeting of interested parties in
my office on 25 January 2007. This meeting was reported in the 2 February
edition of Building Design. A copy of this editorial is contained in Appendix 2
to my statement.


Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the
reasons and what is the impact of this loss?

3.1 In my opinion, there has been a decline in street trees in London, and not only
street trees, but also trees in private squares / gardens / church yards and
other locations that affect the character and appearance of the street scene
equally as much as street trees themselves.

3.2 This opinion is not based on empirical evidence but rather upon observation
of London‟s treecover over the past 25 years.

3.3 During the 1980‟s, I undertook a series of watercolour paintings of London‟s
street scenes. I have subsequently revisited these and photographed the
same locations. By way of example, I attach at Appendix 3 a typical „Before‟
painting and „After‟ photograph of the change in view from the street.

3.4 In my view, the reasons for the loss are many fold. In summary, they include
the following: -

• Private individuals and groups removing trees in response to shading-out,
subsidence, trespass, leaf fall, ageing / instability, maintenance
implications, root penetration and damage liabilities.
• Public sector organisations responding to the same issues.
• The great storm of 1987 and wind blow in general.
• Tree diseases.
• A lack of education and knowledge about the benefits of treecover in
terms of commercial, cultural and environmental considerations.
• The absence of an awareness to undertake replacement tree planting,
potentially underpinned by statutory enforcement.
• The lack of funds/ awareness of maintenance budgets to undertake tree

surgery rather than cutting down trees.
3.5 The impact of this loss is summarised below: -

• Adverse impact on the townscape / landscape character of London‟s
street scene, its heritage and legacy.
• Adverse impact on London‟s environment in terms of nature conservation,
biodiversity and sustainability objectives.
• Adverse impact on the health and well-being of London‟s communities.

What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which
types have proved most suitable for London’s street environment?
Which types of trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any
effects from climate change?

3.6 As a professional landscape architect, the tendency in the past has been to
replace structural street tree planting with species of a similar scale and
nature, notably London Plane trees (Platanus x hispanica species).

3.7 With regard to the type of trees that will need to be planted in the future to
mitigate any effects of climate change, I would defer to others better qualified
to comment on this. However, from my perspective, it is clear that global
warming, climate change and microclimatic effects will make it necessary to
rethink London‟s future treecover species. In this context, different tree
species for London may need to be considered, with their inherent
implications on the character and appearance of London‟s streetscene.

3.8 In response to climate change and stakeholder participation, semi-mature
olive trees have recently been planted in Kensington and Chelsea. A
photograph of these is shown in Appendix 4.

3.9 By way of exemplifying this potential need for change, I present at Appendix 5
an extract from Sustainable Urban Design, Randall Thomas (ed). This shows
the implications of rising sea levels in London and by implication the need to
potentially reconsider London‟s Tree planting species.

What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street

3.10 In my view, these are summarised as follows: -

• Social benefits are derived from people feeling mentally and emotionally
better in urban areas with trees and urban greening.
• Behaviour patterns are said to improve in green city areas.
• Trees help to create a sense of identity and place-making. They reflect
seasonal change, a sense of time, historical context and continuity.
Appendix 6 presents a watercolour painting in the early 1980‟s, which
represents London‟s cultural heritage and a point in time.
• According to the Trees for London Manifesto, there is a clear correlation
between social deprivation indices and the lack of tree cover – Tower
Hamlets has 17 trees per hectare and Kensington and Chelsea has 36
trees per hectare.
• Environmental benefits arise from London‟s treecover by counteracting
pollution, reducing urban heat island effects, mitigating microclimatic
effects, mitigating rainwater run-off, contributing to nature conservation

and bio-diversity.
• Economic benefits of street trees are achieved by increased property
values and commercial values of areas with a perceived environmental
quality / public realm quality. For example, residents living adjacent to a
private London square fronting onto the street in London SW1 (Warwick
Square) have invested in a phased structural tree programme, to maintain
the longevity of their property investment. Images of this tree planting
programme, that affect the street scene, are presented in Appendix 7.

What best practice exists in the management of street trees?

3.11 This matter is best dealt with by others who have expertise in this particular
area. However, from my perspective, it is essential that we plan for the future
and instigate a phased replanting programme for London‟s veteran street
trees / trees that impact London‟s street scene.

3.12 My main reason for stating this is that I have a genuine concern for the
longevity of London‟s street trees and the potential adverse impact that the
loss of structural / veteran trees will have on the character and appearance of
London for future generations. This to my mind is the principal aim of

3.13 In order to exemplify my concerns, I have prepared a series of „Before‟ and
„After‟ photomontage images to illustrate the implications for the future of
London‟s character, if we do not take action now to replenish London‟s
veteran tree stock. These images are presented in Appendix 8 and 9 of my
statement. The timescale of these changes are comparatively imminent,
depending on the age and longevity of the trees and the lead in time for
phased replanting.

3.14 The images presented are self-explanatory. Unless we manage change and
succession of London‟s street trees, there will be radical and dramatic
changes in the character of London‟s streetscene. These changes will be
highly detrimental to London‟s character and reputation locally, regionally,
nationally and internationally.

How are the Mayor’s policies regarding street trees taken into account
when planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?

3.15 Again, this matter is best dealt with by others. There are many policies and
guidelines for the planning of sustainable development in the Thames
Gateway, including the “greening” approach that is underpinned by the Green
Grid Initiative. However, it is my perception that the Mayor‟s policies need to
be expanded to be more specifically focussed on structural long term street
tree planting.

3.16 Particular regard should be given to the opportunities and constraints of street
planting on urban regeneration sites. There are often restrictions to tree
planting, particularly street trees, from underground car parking, service
infrastructure and ground contamination. Ideally, street trees should be
planted in natural ground, for long-term growth. Emphasis should be placed
on realistic budgets, deliverability and commitment to ongoing maintenance
and aftercare.

3.17 In this regard, a 3-dimensional approach should be taken to planning

developments in London. Some of the challenges to successfully achieve
sustainable urban tree cover are presented on the illustration shown in
Appendix 10 to my statement.

How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding
the protection, maintenance and management of London’s street trees?

3.18 On the basis of the discussions held at my office on 25 January 2007, it
appears that there is some way to go to maximise the effectiveness of the
Tree and Woodland Framework.

3.19 The debate that took place at the meeting raised a number of issues that
need to be resolved. The summit focussed on topics for further research and
action strategies that would assist in policy improvements. I would
recommend to the Inquiry that these matters are pursued further.

What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street

3.20 Again, following the discussion held on 25 January 2007, it is concluded that
there is scope for policy improvements. The meeting provided some
indication of how these may be researched, supplemented and expanded.


4.1 This statement makes the following conclusions in response to the
Environment Committee‟s questions.

4.2 There has been a loss of street trees in London and a loss of trees that
contribute to its street scene. The reasons for this are diverse. The impact of
the loss has been to the detriment of London‟s character, environment and
4.3 Those tree species most suitable for London‟s street environment will need to
be carefully researched and selected by all stakeholders to meet a wide
range of criteria, including aesthetic, cultural, historic, environmental, human,
economic, biodiversity, and sustainable objectives. Climate change will
inevitably form an integral part of this decision making process to be

4.4 Street trees and trees associated with the streetscene have social, cultural
benefits associated with place making. They provide significant
environmental benefits by ameliorating microclimate and contributing to
biodiversity. Economic benefits are derived from enhanced property values
and investment values arising from attractive environments in which
communities live, work and play.

4.5 There is guidance on best practice, in the management of street trees,
however I believe that greater emphasis needs to be placed on a deliverable
phased replacement and replanting programme for London‟s veteran tree
stock. Failure to achieve this now will have a profound impact on London‟s
reputation as an internationally renowned “green” city. Equally importantly,
unless we actively manage change, we will have failed to plan for the future
generations and will not in turn have achieved one of the fundamental
principles of sustainability.

4.6 In terms of the Mayor‟s policies and the planning of new developments,
greater emphasis needs to be placed on the planting of structural long-term
tree cover. We need to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the
opportunities and constraints and approach deliverability with an “eyes wide
open” approach in terms of cost, practicality, maintenance and aftercare.

4.7 In order to maximise the effectiveness of the Tree and Woodland Framework,
further research and action strategies are required.

4.8 In conjunction with this, improvement to the policies regarding street trees would seem
advisable, if not essential.

4.9 In summary, I recommend to the Environment Committee that the points
raised in this statement are given due regard and form part of the ongoing
debate and policy-making process.

4.10 I am prepared to commit my time and the resources of my company to pursue
these further, if felt appropriate by the Committee.


Dear Mr Davies,

Thank you for your letter addressed to our Acting Chief Executive, who has asked me to
reply. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to the questions raised in the London
Assembly‟s Environment Committee investigation into street tree issues. For ease of
reference I have answered the questions raised in order:

Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what is the
impact of this loss?
During the last financial year, 05/06, 430 street trees were felled in the London Borough of
Hillingdon. Approximately 70% of these were dead, 20% were diseased and thought to be
dangerous and 10% were removed because they were damaging footpaths or causing an
actionable nuisance.
We planted approximately 250 new trees to help off set this loss in 05/06. We have set
ourselves a target of spending approximately £30,000 each year on replacement street
What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have proved
most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of trees will need to be planted
in the future to mitigate any effects from climate change?
Species that we most commonly use as replacements are those that appear to do well in our
street scene. This includes Betula utilis „Jacquemontii‟, most Acers , Gleditsia triacanthos,
Sorbus arnoldiana „Schouten‟, Liriodendron tulipifera, Ginkgo biloba, Liquidambar. A
possible solution to climate change would be to use tree species with a Mediterranean
provenance. Otherwise, exotic and drought tolerant species will probably need to be
gradually introduced. Hillingdon has a varied „Street Scene‟ from wide grass verges to
narrow paved footways. Our tree species selection reflects these differing locations and in
places trees should be planted with a limited useful life, then removed and replaced.
What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
Some interesting facts about trees: Trees increase property values by 5 to 20% due to their
landscaping value. Well placed trees help cut energy bills and consumption by decreasing
air conditioning costs by 10-50% & reducing heating costs as much as 4-22%. Trees help
prevent flooding by catching raindrops and offsetting runoff caused by buildings and car
parks. The roots of trees trap pollutants that would otherwise contaminate ground water.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release life giving oxygen from their
leaves. Trees have a positive impact on the incidence of asthma, skin cancer and stress
related illness by filtering out polluted air, reducing smog formation, shading out solar
radiation and providing an attractive, calming setting for recreation. One large tree can
provide a day's supply of oxygen for up to four people. Trees are good noise barriers,
making a city and neighbourhood quieter. Birds and animals use trees for their homes and
shelter and as a source of food. Trees can reduce the weed problem and screen out unsightly

What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
The London Tree Officers Association helps share best practice and the Forestry
Commission‟s guidance is helpful. Most London Boroughs try to work towards cyclical
street tree pruning. In addition to choosing species that fit the streetscene (size, shape etc),

street trees have to be treated as a „crop‟ with a limited useful lifespan so phased
replacement plans can be a demonstration of good practice.
How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
Currently street trees issues do not appear to be a high enough priority in the design
proposals of some new developments, for example we note that some developers seek to
plant species which although attractive in the short term would quickly over grow their
locations. Also protection of existing trees at the street edge of new developments can be
insufficient to ensure future survival.
How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London‟s street trees?
The Tree and Woodland Framework reflects the importance of street trees and so is
welcomed. It provides a tool to promote the trees and woodlands in the Capital. Awareness
has been raised at political level and is influencing decision making. It provides a central
point of contact for pieces of work that span more than one borough which is helpful. The
framework also places trees and woodlands in a wider London context.
What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
 With the diverse range of tree stocks and woodlands across the London Boroughs, we
believe there is a place for borough specific plans and polices to be retained and encouraged,
drawing references to the wider London framework. It is likely that more emphasis needs to
be placed on replacement trees and selection of „right tree, right place‟ to meet changing

I hope our response is helpful and we would welcome receiving a summary of the outcome
of the investigation.

Yours sincerely

Mary Worrall
Green Spaces Team Manager
Hillingdon Council


Dear Mr Davies,

Please find below and attached, input to the - Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation.
I am a PhD Environmental Scientist who initiated and led high profile research which first
mapped the seasonal subsidence of London Clay due to shrink and swell, from radar satellite
data. Research partners included London Underground, Thames Water, British Geological
Survey, Building Research Establishment, European Space Agency, British National Space
Centre, and space sector industry partners. The prime objective was to identify a causal
relationship between this first mapped regional ground movement and London water main
bursts, accounting for London's 25% loss of mains water. The research was the first to
establish a strong correlation with such infrastructure failures - an unprecedented 83%
correlation to detected subsidence.

The research also addressed the role of trees and soil moisture deficit (SMD) in the spatial
variability of clay shrinkage subsidence. We were the first to establish an actual correlation
between published daily soil moisture deficit values and several years archived subsidence

records, of ground movement close to trees, at the Building Research Establishment test
site for London Clay subsidence, at Chattenden, Kent. We established a strong 73%
correlation between Soil Moisture Deficit and ground movement, which had only been
broadly assumed previously. Soil moisture deficit had previously been considered to be a
measurement not appropriate for urban conditions, it being developed first for agricultural
soil moisture indication. It is not an actual measurement but a generalised regional
calculation from daily temperature and precipitation totals and other environmental factors
from multiple weather stations. SMD is now used by professionals as a predictor of London

After cumulative summer drought shrinkage of London Clay, by up to 50mm, the clay then
rehydrates with autumn rain and swells rapidly with the first heavy rain after leaf fall. This
is well known to cause predicable damage events to street infrastructure and buildings,
exacerbated by the abrupt reversal in the direction of the stress (force) and strain
(movement) from clay shrinkage, to swelling or heave movement. This phenomenon is
clearly particularly associated with trees and further seen in building damage, well
documented by insurance statistics and ground surveys.

London vegetation was also mapped by the research from multispectral satellite data to
show biomass density variation across London and problem trees species were precisely
mapped in other results. This has been combined to enable a unique, predictive subsidence
model and map, from this diverse vegetation, ground movement, Soil Moisture Deficit and
surface geology data. The model thus enables qualified prediction of subsidence across
London into Climate Change conditions. Predictions of future soil moisture deficit show a
highly variable future subsidence scenario, 30%+ greater than the worst subsidence
experience of recent years and mapped to 20m intervals across London. This scenario will
clearly affect street trees and garden trees and from current experience, fairly chaotically. It
has been shown to be as much dependent on the age and integrity of structures and
infrastructure, as tree species, size, proximity and management. There are many insurance
claims against the Boroughs resulting in loss of street trees. There are also many street
trees lost due to unacceptable levels of street damage, particularly to pavements

Having achieved the most comprehensive mapping and understanding of the problem, as an
environmental scientist with a strong interest in ecology, I was not satisfied to walk away
without a sustainable solution. I have presented the research results to the GLA, insurance
industry, construction and utilities and presented evidence to uphold challenged Tree
Preservation Orders in support of the GLA/London Boroughs/LTWF policies. I am also
the only environmental scientist on the Subsidence Forum, an insurance industry forum, at
the forefront of the obvious conflict of interests between London Borough Tree Officers and
insurance companies. I have also spoken to London Tree Officers Association (LTOA)
meetings and interested Boroughs officers.

My objective is now to seek a simple, low cost, scientifically validated and sustainable
solution to structural damage to buildings, infrastructure and streets which also protects
the trees. I have developed such a solution which has been discussed with the Building
Research Establishment, London Tree Officers and the London Tree and Woodland
Framework and attracted broad support in principle. The proposed method now needs to be
trialed on at least 3 problem street trees and 3 problem garden trees to confirm the
hypothesis, which is broadly agreed as highly plausible. I have previously been a lecturer in
horticulture and agriculture and thus as well as by qualifications, thoroughly experienced in
plant science and culture.

I am having to patent the method but am discussing in detail with Boroughs, under
confidentiality agreement. The object is to publish the results and make the method widely
available at little or no cost under the patent. The method as adapted for street trees
encourages rooting and water abstraction away from problem structures by a range of
optional solutions depending on circumstances. There is a new method to manage pavement
lifting and an option for leaf litter recycling. Cost is expected to be low.

The attached papers give further detail as circulated to the Boroughs and GLA/LTWF, I
would be pleased to discuss detail in person to yourself and to the Scrutiny Panel. I am
formerly from Walthamstow and am committed to returning this contribution to the valued
Epping Forest/London environment of my formative years.

Yours sincerely

Dr Richard Stow BSc ING PhD
Environmental Scientist and Engineer


Dear Mr Johnson


I refer to your letter dated 15 December 2007 requesting input to the London Assembly
investigation into the loss of street trees in London.

Our specific views, as they currently stand, are set out in the attached paper. I trust that
these will be helpful to the Committee‟s deliberations, but please contact me if you require
further information on any aspect of them.

Yours sincerely,

Drew Bennellick
Head of Regional Partnerships
London Region
English Heritage


                                    FEBRUARY 2007

English Heritage‟s remit is to protect and promote England‟s historic environment and we
recognise that trees are important and, in many cases, integral components of the historic
environment and of the built environment of the future. Trees can significantly enhance the
appearance of a street or open space, but they can also obscure or harm buildings, or detract
from an historic design. We advise therefore that the historic context of a street or place
must be fully understood before any new planting or replacement programmes are planned.

We have responded separately to each of the questions posed, below.

1. Has there been a loss of Street Trees – reasons & impacts
English Heritage holds no baseline quantitative data for the stock of street trees in the
historic environment, and it is outside our remit to monitor actual or perceived loss. Known
reasons for loss, however, include trenching for new utilities, poorly managed protection
regimes during new construction and felling related to subsidence claims. The impact of
pests and disease, for instance the crisis currently facing Horse Chestnuts, is likely to have a
significant impact on London‟s tree population, and it may take many years for lost trees to
be replaced Ongoing programmes of renewal must be ready to address such issues. Loss of
privately owned trees in front gardens due to conversion to car parking is a related loss that
also has a significant impact on the appearance of the streetscape. The introduction of
controlled parking schemes and most recently the introduction of increased charges for
large engined vehicles will further hasten the loss of London‟s private front gardens with
their associated trees.

In assessing the impact of such loss on the historic environment in particular, the history of
street trees, and their place in and contribution to today‟s street environment should first be
understood. Here follows a brief review of street planting in London.

      Historically, London‟s city streets did not contain trees. The first introduction of
       trees into planned developments was inspired by the picturesque landscaping
       movement of the 18th century, which led to the redesigning of the originally
       geometric, formal landscaping of Georgian squares to create informal, picturesque,
       naturalistic gardens. Indeed the landscape architect Humphry Repton was employed
       to design Bloomsbury and Russell Squares in early years of 19th century. The aim
       was an urban landscape where the composed classical uniformity of streets, squares
       and crescents was interspersed and contrasted with informal groupings of large
       trees that responded to the scale of the surrounding architecture but created a visual
      The concept of avenue planting –what we now recognise as the ubiquitous type of
       street tree planting, did not appear in London streets until later in the 19th century.

        An early instance was at Margaretta Terrace, Chelsea, in 1851, but the large Planes
        used here were not successful in this narrow street due to their conflict with the
        traffic and adjacent buildings, and were soon severely lopped.
     Whilst the majority of mid 19th century suburban developments did not include
        street tree planting, the ideals of the Morris and Ruskin‟s Aesthetic Movement fed
        into the design of garden suburb developments such as Bedford Park in west London
        (1875), where existing trees were retained as essential to the rural character, and
        new street trees were planted.
     The influence of Haussmann‟s re-planning of Paris and his use of tree-lined
        boulevards can be seen in contemporary London developments such as Victoria
        Embankment in 1865 – 70, which included closely spaced trees along the rivers
        edge. This approach became more widely implemented as evidenced at the Artisans‟,
        Labourers‟ and General Dwelling Co‟s Shaftesbury Park Estate in Battersea where
        the Builder reported that „the streets throughout are to be planted with trees
        forming miniature boulevards‟ (1873). In 1905 the newly created Kingsway became
        the widest street in London and was lined with Plane trees.
     Late 19th and early 20th century suburban developments predominantly comprised
        repetitive layouts of linear streets, and as a result „avenue‟ planting became the
        norm. Small non-native flowering varieties e.g. cherries and plums that had been
        introduced by Victorian plant collectors were commonly used as these had minimal
        conflict with services and traffic. The progressive health and welfare ideals of the
        1920s that embraced fresh air and sunlight were also influential in ensuring that
        street trees were not so large as to obstruct sunlight.
     The semi-rural aesthetic established in 19th century garden suburbs continued to be
        essential to the design of middle class suburban developments throughout the 20th
Consideration of the loss of street trees should be judged against this historical context.
Trees should be viewed as an integral design element of some parts of the historic
environment, and of the streetscape as a whole. Where they are an integral part of an
original design then appropriate replacement planting should be carried out. However,
there may be instances where their loss or removal would benefit the appearance of the
historic environment, for instance where existing trees obscure or damage historic
buildings, where rogue species intrude in a uniform avenue, or where the scale or location
does not do justice to the architectural context.

2. What types of street trees have been replanted? Which types will need to be
planted in the future?
What species are replanted, and where, should be related to the individual circumstances
and existing historic precedents, and should consider
    Size – (height and spread) is there space for a large tree to grow without harsh
       pruning?; would a smaller variety look insignificant against larger buildings? Will
       they have a satisfactory relationship with the wider context of buildings and
       street/open space?
    Species –will species relate to an existing historic planting scheme, build on an
       existing local distinctiveness or introduce a new species to respond to contemporary
       issues and structures? There has been a trend over the last century towards smaller,
       faster growing trees in response to a number of factors. More drought resistant
       species are also beginning to be used in street planting in response to climate
       change. The scale and screening effect of new species when fully grown should be
       considered in relation to the surrounding built environment.

      location and number – avenue planting, individual landmarks, urban groupings –
       these approaches can variously aid the street environment by framing views,
       creating focal points, or enhancing incidental public open spaces. By understanding
       the historic background of these approaches historic integrity can be added to a new
       planting scheme in a historic location.

New planting
In existing historic locations where trees have not previously existed care should be taken
     new planting does not obscure historic buildings, views of local landmarks, or vistas
        of architectural set pieces
     the chosen species will have room to grow to its full stature without conflict with
        existing buildings
     sub-surface archaeology will not be harmed by tree roots – this risk should be
        assessed prior to landscaping schemes being designed and implemented.
     leaf, flower or fruit drop will not block complex gutter systems of historic buildings
        – particularly problematic with Planes and Sycamores
     trees are considered as one part of a complex built environment in terms of location,
        scale and distribution and that their relationships to buildings, in open space, and to
        each other are considered.
     care and management of the tree, and control of any secondary growth (particularly
        harmful in historic cemeteries and churchyards), is planned for and adequately

Landscaping schemes in new developments: the historic places of the future. It is
essential that buildings, spaces and trees should be considered as complementary elements,
so as to optimise the sustainability of new development, and to avoid future failures and
maintenance issues. Careful landscaping can help create a comfortable microclimate and
contribute to a pleasant place to live. Trees act as wind breaks, can screen noise, reduce
water run-off, provide for bio-diversity, furnish green amenity space, soften the visual
impact of car-parking, provide colour and variety, and deciduous varieties provide shade in
summer and allow light to filter through in winter. The full height of trees should be
anticipated to avoid reducing accessible sunlight and daylight, and in reducing the efficiency
of solar panels and wind turbines. Trees in new office/industrial environments should be
also be considered as integral to the scheme so that trees do not get lost in sea of hard
landscaping, or appear out of scale, or as an afterthought in relation to the built form, its
layout, orientation or functionality.

All tree planting should envisage a legacy of 100s of years!

3. What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?

The longevity of trees, often spanning many centuries, provides continuity and focus within
local communities that has led to both cultural and historical association. As we have
mentioned, the choice of species, and their distribution in the street environment is often
integrally linked to wider social and philosophical changes, and they therefore help us to see
London in its global and historical context.

Groups or individual trees can be of specific heritage interest too; because of their great age
– for example the Planes in Berkeley Square that remain from the original planting in 1789
and the Seven Sisters on Page Green in Tottenham that represent continuity of location
since possibly the 1300s; or because they refer to former land uses, for instance the street
planting of pear trees in St John‟s Wood area as a reference to the market gardens that
existed here previously; or because they mark an occasion, for example the street planting
of golden leafed species in the London Borough of Hillingdon‟s streets to commemorate the
Queen‟s Golden Jubilee. Such instances can enrich and add interest to local areas if
publicised, can engage communities and may help to foster an interest in local history.
Many trees act as familiar „old friends‟ or landmarks fostering memories and providing
community identity.

Looking to the heritage of the future, we are likely to see an experimental variety of new
species being planted in response to climate change and as the green legacy of the 2012
Olympic Games. Funding for the care and management of such trees must be established
and maintained. Such an environmental investment should go hand in hand with reviews of
species choice. An informed approach should be taken of which species were used, and why,
in historic contexts. The London Plane, for instance, is so prevalent today because of its
ability to withstand the environmental pollution prior to the Clean Air Act of 1956 which
resulted in the loss of many other species. Current environmental challenges will inevitably
result in changes to the species used, and these should be introduced in a way that does not
confuse or erode the integrity of historic schemes.

4. Best Practise in management of street trees
English Heritage‟s publication Streets for All published in 2000, has a section on street trees
and planting, and gives advice on practical matters relating to tree pits. A copy is enclosed
for ease of reference. The London Boroughs should be encouraged to develop their own
individual guidance on street tree planting and borough wide strategies. This is a lead
being pursued by the City of Westminster.

5 & 6. Mayor’s Policies on Street Trees and Trees and Woodland Framework in
This is outside English Heritage‟s remit and we therefore have no comments to make on
these points.

7. Improvements in policies regarding street trees
DCLG have carried out an informal review into how the TPO system could be improved
and modernised. Presumably the annual London Local Authorities Bill offers an
opportunity to make improvements across London?

In addition to the existing protection offered by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
(Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas), we advise that

      Proposals for substantial tree planting, or planting in archaeological priority areas
       should be accompanied by an EIA or equivalent to address historical and
       archaeological issues
      An improvement in baseline data would allow analysis and assessment of historically
       important planting schemes and individual trees. This could utilise 1987 storm
       damage data, as well as the LUC survey of London‟s trees, and the Great Trees of
       London initiative.

      Compiled by Joanna Ecclestone
      February 2007

      Edwards, A. M (1981) The Design of Suburbia London
      Webster, A.D. (1920) London Trees. London: The Swarthmore Press
      London Borough of Camden (2005) Camden Streetscape Design Manual
      City of Westminster (2007) Draft Tree Strategy


Dear Richard,

Re: The Loss of London’s Street Trees.

I am responding to Darren Johnson‟s letter concerning the loss of street trees in London
and the London Assembly‟s Environment Committee‟s investigation proposal. My response
is in the context of the London Tree and Woodland Framework‟s influence on how London
authorities currently manage their street trees and how a variety of factors will influence
their management in future years, especially with respect to climate change.

    In answer to your specific questions I would make the following comments:

1. Street Tree Loss.

London is undoubtedly losing a significant number of street trees annually due to a variety
of factors;


     Development pressure in all its forms- building construction, utility service installation
      & repair, road and footway reconstruction, vehicle access requirements on construction
      sites, creation of run-ins for domestic properties and the paving over of front gardens all
      have a cumulative and negative influence on London‟s street trees.
     Insurers have identified street trees as being implicated in the majority of subsidence
      claims in London resulting in pressure to remove very many trees.
     Greater incidents of disease/structural failures in London‟s street tree population caused
      by the inherently harsher conditions in which urban trees grow as opposed to trees
      growing in non-urban situations.


     A gradual but insidious degradation in the quality and scale of the street tree
     A change in the overall character of the population that favours smaller trees of less
      landscape significance than are traditionally associated with London‟s streetscape.

   A greater intensification of management that is in turn reducing the scale and impact of
    the street tree population. i.e. heavier more frequent pruning regimes resulting in
    smaller headed less statuesque trees.

The London boroughs have, through the London Tree Officer‟s Association provided
anecdotal evidence from individual London authorities that indicates an extremely variable
and in some respects fragmented management of London street trees dependent on local
conditions and resources.

Some authorities are replacing street trees on a one for one basis when they are removed,
others are planting more than they remove and a significant number of boroughs are
creating a deficit by removals greatly outstripping replanting schemes.

This anecdotal view suggests that many Inner London authorities are replacing those trees
removed adequately, it is Outer London or suburban authorities that appear to be in a deficit

Currently information available is on a borough by borough basis and there has been no
formal collation of the available data.

2. Replanting.

The above mentioned pressures are acting together to create a situation where species mix,
biodiversity and character are all being affected. In many authorities street trees are being
replaced numerically but the quality, scale and longevity of the trees being planted has
diminished, primarily due to the fear of future building insurance claims.

   Replacement trees are generally smaller and less long lived than those removed- birch,
    rowan, hazel, cherries etc.
   Paradoxically those trees best suited and capable of surviving in the harsher urban
    environment and growing above vehicle impact issues - large, long lived, vigorous and
    tolerant of repeated pruning and root disturbance are those trees most often implicated
    in significant subsidence claims, trees such as planes, limes, maples etc.
   Climate change will present a special set of difficulties for London‟s street trees as local
    authorities struggle to balance the very positive benefits of having trees with the greater
    financial impacts of retaining street trees close to adjacent buildings on clay soils.

3. Benefits.

The benefits of urban trees are now well documented and street trees are increasingly being
seen as an integral part of the solution for making London a city that can adapt and cope
with the implications of climate change.


            Filtering, absorbing and reducing pollutants (Ozone, sulphur dioxide, carbon
             monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, dust, particulates and noise).1, 2.
            Producing Oxygen.
            Reducing localised extremes in temperatures, cooling in the summer and
             warming in the winter (Countering urban heat islands effects).3
            Reducing the effects of flash floods.4
            Absorbing Carbon dioxide (the main green house gas) Acting as carbon sinks
             (although in terms of trees in towns this role is limited and is more symbolic
             than actual).5, 6 & 7.


            Providing amenity, aesthetic value and historical continuity.8
            Providing habitats for a broad range of wildlife.9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15
            Marking the changing seasons with leaf changes and floral displays
            Symbolizing community focal points.


         Increasing property values (the presence of trees can increase the value of
          residential and commercial property by 5%16, 17-18%.18, 19
        The value of undeveloped land that can provide mature trees can be increased by
        Providing a sustainable source of graded timber, mulch and charcoal.
        Providing a sustainable source of woodchip biofuel.
        Providing a sustainable source of compost (leaf litter).
        Providing employment through all aspects of the industry.
        When planted strategically they can reduce fossil fuel emissions by reducing fuel
          costs for heating and cooling buildings.
Health and Well Being.

            Reducing skin cancers by providing shade from harmful ultra-violet radiation.
            Reducing stress and illness by providing psychological refreshment and a sense
             of well being through softening the built environment, creating character and a
             sense of place and permanence.20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25,& 26
            Releasing scents and aromas that elicit a positive emotional response
             contributing to health and well being.27

4. Best Practice

It is difficult to say exactly what is best practice in the management of street trees as the
numbers of variables involved in decisions concerning street tree management sometimes
results in seemingly contradictory advice for two seemingly similar set of circumstances.

What may be appropriate for one street tree in a particular location may be completely
inappropriate for a similar tree in a similar location but with slightly different history,
surroundings or its perceived interaction with the public.

Currently The London Tree Officers Assocation‟s document “A Risk Limitation Strategy
for Tree Root Claims 2007 is probably the only document available at the moment which
addresses these complex issues and would be a good example of best practice for street
trees, although it does cover trees in other locations as well,

6. Mayor‟s Policies.

The Mayor‟s policies on trees are beginning to have a positive effect on developments in
London and their provision for the protection and planting of street trees and trees
generally. This is likely to be a slow process as policies for the intensification of
development and increasing density have been interpreted in the past as having a negative
effect on trees.

However, the importance of having trees of scale and size incorporated into new
development is now reaching a much wider audience through the work of The London
Trees and Woodlands Framework. In particular through the Framework‟s Right Place
Right Tree initiative, which proposes that not only are the right trees chosen for the right
place in new developments and planting schemes but that the right places are designed and
constructed to accommodate future trees that will also assist in mitigating climate change.

This initiative and the exposure it creates can only increase the success of the Mayor‟s
policies in the future.

7. The London Trees and Woodland Framework.

Since its publication in 2005 The London Trees and Woodland Framework has been
instrumental in highlighting through its objectives and work programme the many issues
facing London‟s Street trees.

It has had a positive effect in galvanising groups of partners into working together to
address some of the issues facing London‟s street trees.

Specifically I have been and am continuing to be involved with:

a) Assisting The London tree Officer‟s Association to produce a revised version of their
   report “A Risk Limitation Strategy for Tree Root Claims”
b) Working with the Association of Local Authority Risk Managers to produce “A Joint
   Tree Root Protocol” for processing tree related insurance claims.
c) Working with the London Tree Officer‟s Association to develop a valuation system that
   can be used to value street trees in the context of insurance claims and more generally
   for street tree populations (Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees- CAVAT)

d) Working with The National Joint Utilities Group to revise and update their document
   10- Guidelines for the Planning, Installation, Repair and Maintenance of Utility
   Services in Proximity to Trees. (NJUG 10 ).
e) Producing guidance for Local authorities to assist in their production of an integrated
   and comprehensive Tree Strategy that compliments and feeds into their Local
   Development Frameworks and Supplementary Planning Documents.
f) The Right Trees for London research projects sponsored by partners (Forestry
   Commission, Natural England, GLA, RHS, Tree Council) to investigate the qualities of
   trees and adaptations to current management practices that will be required in the
   future so that London can continue to have its roads and streets planted with trees that
   also assist in mitigating climate change in the capital.
g) Organising a Climate Adaptation Forum for Trees and Woodlands in London to look at
   the issue of climate change and the adaptations that will be necessary in planting choices
   and schemes so that London retains its tree cover.
h) Stimulating a dialogue between architects, urban designers and tree managers so that
   The LTWF Right Place Right Tree Initiative is included in the decision making and
   planning process for all new developments in London. Currently attending meetings
   with Urban Designers and giving presentations to planners, urban designers and

8. Policy Improvements.

A number of policy improvements could be made in respect of street trees, improvements
that would mesh with other policies and reinforce the message that street trees are

These could be:

a). Resist the removal of existing street trees to facilitate the making of
vehicle crossovers on new developments.
b).Propose a standard non-deficit position across London so that less trees are felled in
London annually than are planted.
c). When the results of The Right Trees for London research projects are known propose
that London adopts the findings as a formal method of adapting to climate change.
d). Propose new developments on clay soils are constructed with foundations adequate
enough to tolerate the planting of street trees of sufficient scale and size to assist in
mitigating climate change.
e). The London Assembly formally adopting The LTWF Right Place Right Tree initiative
as one of its tree policies.

As the London Tree and Woodland Framework Manager I support the London Assembly‟s
Environment Committee formally investigating the loss of London‟s Street Trees. An
objective of this investigation could be to produce a report that can bring definitive data to
the subject as proposed in The London Tree and Woodland Framework.

While there exist many good and helpful sources for anecdotal evidence and on an
individual basis hard facts for certain London authorities there is no on-going unified
process or system for capturing, holding and analysing data on trees on a London wide

Setting up such a system is something the London Assembly could facilitate and this would
certainly assist in delivering key aspects of the London Tree and Woodland Framework in
the future.

Thank you very much for asking for comment on this investigation proposal, I hope you
have found my comments helpful and if you have any questions or require clarification on
any aspect of the above please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jim Smith.
The London Trees and Woodlands Framework Manager.

1.    Stewart H, Owen S, Donovan R, Mackenzie R, Hewitt N, Skiba U and FowlerD (2003). Trees and
      Sustainable Urban Air Quality: Using Trees to improve Air Quality in Cities, Lancaster University,
2.    Broadmeadow MSJ and Freer-Smith PH (1996) Urban Woodland and the Benefits for Local Air
      Quality, Research for Amenity Trees No.5 HMSO, London.
3.    Huang YJ, Akbari H, Taha H and Rosenfeld AH (1987) The Potential of Vegetation in Reducing
      Summer Cooling Loads in residential Buildings, Journal of Climate and Applied Meterology 26 (9): 1103-
4.    Soltis D (1997) Loss of Trees Increase Stormwater Runoff in Atlanta, Water Engineering and
      Management 144: 6.
5.    Broadmeadow, M and Mattews, R. (2003) Forests, Carbon and Climate Change: the UK Contribution,
      Forestry Commission Information Note 48, Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
7.    Nowak DJ (1992) Urban Forest Structure and the functions of Hydrocarbon Emissions and Carbon
      Storage, in Rodbell P D (ed) Proceedings of the Fifth National Urban Forest Conference, Los Angeles,
      48-51 American forests, Washington DC.
8.    Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
9.    Kennedy CJ and Southwood TRE (1984). The Number of Species of Insect Associated with British
      Trees: A Re-analysis, Journal of Animal Ecology 53: 453-478.
10.   Fuller RJ (1995) Bird Life of Woodland and Forest, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
11.   Kirby KJ and Duke CM (1993) Dead Wood Matters: the Ecology and Conservation of Saproxylic
      Invertebrates in Britain, English Nature Science No.7 English Nature, Peterborough.
12.   Speight MCD (1989) Saproxylic Invertebrates and their Conservation, Nature and Environment Series
      No.42, Council of of Europe, Strasbourg.
13.   Corbet GB and Harris S (eds) (1991) handbook of British Mammals, 3rd Edition, Blackwell Scientific
      Publications Oxford.
14.   Stearns F (1972) The City as Habitat for Wildlife and Man, in Detwyler R and Marcus MG (eds)
      Urbanisation and Environment, Duxbury Press Belmont California.
15.   De Graaf RM and Wentworth JM (1986) Avian Guild Structure and Habitat Associations in Suburban
      Bird Communities, Urban Ecology 9: 399-412.
16.   Anderson LM and Cordel HK (1988) Influence of Trees on Residential Property Values in Athens,
      Georgia: A Survey Based on Actual Sales Prices, Landscape and Urban Planning 15: 153-164.
17.   Morales DJ (1980) The Contribution of Trees to Residential Property Value: Journal of Arboriculture 6
18.   Morales DJ, Micha Fr and Weber RC (1983) Two Methods of Evaluating Trees on Residential Sites,
      Journal of Aboriculture 9 (1): 21-24.
19.   CABE Space (2005) Does money Grow on Trees? Commission for Architecture and the Built
      Environment, London.
20.   National Urban Forestry Unit (1999) Trees and Healthy Living, National Conference, Wolverhampton,
      UK, National Urban Forestry Unit, Wolverhampton.
21.   Ulrich RS, Simmons RF, Losito BD, Fiority E, Miles MA and Zeison M (1991) Stress Recovery
      During Exposure to Natural and Urban Environments, Journal of Environmental Psychology 11: 201-

22. Mudrak LY (1982) In the Environmental Benefits of Vegetation at a Global Local and Personal Level: A
    Review of the Literature, Green Releaf, Horticultural Trades Association and Royal Botanical Gardens,
23. Botkin DB and Beveridge CE (1997) Cities as Environments, Urban Ecosystems 1: 3-19.
24. Ulrich RS (1984) View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery, Science Journal 224
25. Moore EO (1981-82) A Prison Environment‟s Effect on Health Care Demands, Journal of
    Environmental Systems 11(1): 17-34.
26. West MJ (1985) Landscape Views and Stress Response in the Prison Environment, Department of
    Landscape Architecture, University of Washington, Seattle, unpublished masters thesis.
27. The Open University Course SK277 Human Biology Science: Level 2, Block 2. Control and
    Communication, the Special Senses 2.1.1: 52-55.


Dear Richard

In response to the letter sent by Darren Johnson on the 15th of December 2006, I make the
following comments in my capacity as the Principal Arboricultural Officer at the London
Borough of Barnet.

My response giving an overriding view as Chair of the London Tree Officers Association
will follow.

        Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons
         and what is the impact of this loss?

The main reasons for removal of street trees are:

       Drought, both mature and recently planted trees.
       Pressure from Insurance companies and their representatives over alleged
        subsidence claims, whether the tree is implicated or not.
       Natural decline and disease.
       Pressure for off-street parking.
       Vehicle impact damage, both cars and high-sided vehicles.
       Widening of carriageways.
       Change of buses from single-decker to double-decker use.
       Public pressure and a growing trend of non-acceptance of officer decision.

It should be stated that we have planted more trees than we have lost every year for the
past ten years. A cut in budget is likely to impact on planting but outside sources of funding
have been sought.

A mechanism to allow tree officers access to funds for tree planting would be a major benefit
as planting is the first casualty in any budget pressure. Even if continued tree cover is
Council policy, a tree in poor condition which needs removing will always take precedence
over planting.

       What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types
        have proved most suitable for London's street environment?

Ornamental low risk trees, these trees give visual amenity with less of the associated risk
from tree root damage, both direct (damaging footways) and indirect (building subsidence,
or the perceived threat of this).

These trees are of lower environmental benefit and visually they are never as grand, but
they provide continued tree cover with less of the problems.

       Which types of trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any
        effects from climate change?

Ornamental trees with lower water requirements, but a major role in this must be from the
nurseries sourcing their stock and checking its provenance.
Much of this is speculative and we are field testing new species every year. We have
recently been planting a species of tree, Chitalpa 'Summer Bells' which is a hybrid between
the Indian Bean Tree and a Desert Willow in suburban north London.
Ideally we need trees with the ability to withstand drought, high winds, flash floods, car
damage etc etc.

       What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
There has been major research into this, the work of the now defunct National Urban forestry
unit (NUFU) and especially in USA.

In brief:

           They filter airborne dust and pollution and absorb traffic noise
       They provide shade and act as air conditioners. This will be increasingly important if
        the full realisation of climate change in London‟s heat island occurs.
       In US there has been direct cost benefit analysis regarding tree planting in public
        places and the cost of treating cancerous melanomas.
       They convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, increasing the quality of the air on a local
       They provide food and nesting sites for birds, other animals and insects thus increasing
        nature conservation value of an area.
       They act as a buffer between the stresses of modern urban living and improve the
        quality of life for people living and working in towns.
       They provide many psychological and health benefits. Trees have been shown to
        reduce stress significantly and increase recovery time in post operative in-patients.
       They increase property values.

      What Best Practice exists in the management of street trees?

London Tree Officers Association (LTOA), Risk Limitation Strategy for Tree Root Claims.
This document outlines the procedures for implementing cyclical tree pruning and
inspection as a guide to minimise tree root action. It also provides a ready defence in the
case of any claim, real or speculative.

      How are the Mayor’s policies regarding street trees taken into account when
       planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
In terms of planning we would be guided by policies from Central Govt in the form of
Planning Policy Guidance / Statements; strategic guidance in the Mayor‟s London Plan,
Biodiversity Strategy, and the London Trees and Woodlands Framework etc; and local
policies in the Adopted Barnet Unitary Development Plan and adopted Supplementary

That said, the LTWF is strategic and long-term – in our view, it is difficult to apply
directly on a small scale because the time-frames envisaged in LTWF are relatively long
term. The upshot as far as LTWF is concerned is to maintain tree cover etc for the future
(i.e. plant new trees) – rather than focus necessarily on maintenance of existing tree stock.

As far as street trees are concerned, planning issues would apply for large scale
developments – and as you know, there are issues of tree planting requirements and
adoptability standards (as referred to in BS5837: 2005).

Section 106 funding should be made available for street tree planting from all development.
      How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the
       protection, maintenance and management of London’s street trees?

The appointment of the LTWF manager has been significant in his input on the many
working groups addressing the issues facing London‟s trees. On a more local level, I have
met with him and asked for advice on the management of Barnet‟s woodlands and will be
hoping to go further and apply to the Forestry commission for management grants.

      What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?

The production of a London wide Tree Strategy as an advisory document. This could
inform all local borough tree strategies and should be a reference for local and unitary
development plans.

Any more information you would like, please contact me

Yours sincerely
Andy Tipping
Principal Arboricultural Officer
LB Barnet


Dear Richard

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

Please find my response to Darren Johnson‟s letter of 15 December 2006 regarding the
above investigation. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the public meeting, as I will
be on leave.

Q1 Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons
and what is the impact of this loss?

Whilst there is no central collection of statistical evidence, anecdotal evidence suggests
losses have occurred. An aerial assessment and study of small areas of London by the Clay
Research Group (CRG) show street trees lost in their search areas, but the loss hasn't been

In partnership with Greenspace Information for Greater London (GIGL), the London Tree
& Woodland Framework (LTWF) aims to compile, assess and map existing information on
the nature, extent, condition and ownership of trees in London, including identifying gaps
in data. Currently the LTWF is negotiating the sharing and analyses of London wide data
with the CRG and their data suppliers. This will give the first accurate assessment of the
loss of street trees. It is hoped that this will be available by 2008.

The LTWF (table appended) indicates that subsidence claims, Health & Safety fears,
highway restrictions/damage, and competition with underground services are main reasons.
Other reasons include the perceived inconvenience for residents (pavement crossovers,
aphid sap drop), hostile growing environment and pressure for development.

The overall impact is the loss of the benefits listed below. However, the most obvious,
visual, impact is the gradual change of the street scene as London loses its characteristic
large trees. These large trees also offer most in adapting to climate change. However,
London‟s street scene (and hidden underground services) has evolved over the centuries, so
it is important to use the Right Place Right Tree guidance in the LTWF to avoid planting
trees inappropriate to their location.

Q2 What types of tree have been planted to replace street trees and which
types have proved most suitable for London’s Street environment? Which
types of trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from
climate change?

Boroughs street tree replacement policy varies considerably across London. In some areas
increases occur whilst in others there has been a decrease. Anecdotal evidence suggests that
many replacement trees are smaller in scale. Reasons include restrictions imposed by
underground services and fears of subsidence claims and/or complaints from residents. If it
is true that replacement trees are smaller in scale then it is likely London will eventually
lose the Victorian legacy of large street trees such as London plane and lime trees.

Trees planted that can withstand the harsh growing environment (primarily less permeable
surfaces) include ornamental and exotic species. Through the LTWF, research will be
started this spring to produce guidance for Londoners on the characteristics required for
trees to survive in the changing range of conditions anticipated across London as a result of
climate change. This may suggest native species of European provenance, such as from SW
Europe, or central Europe but it is not anticipated to produce recommendations for
importing unfamiliar or unusual species.

Trees can help Londoners adapt to London‟s changing climate in several ways. By
providing shade, large deciduous trees planted close to buildings can reduce the need for
air-conditioning. On shrinkable soils (including clay soils), buildings will need to have
foundations adequate enough to allow the planting of street trees of appropriate scale and
size. Street trees also provide shade for pedestrians and cyclists. Larger trees planted in
sufficient numbers can create a local microclimate with a lower air temperature.
Unfortunately, planting large trees is difficult in existing streets, but can be more readily
incorporated in new developments.

Q3 What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?

These are well documented in the LTWF, but include the following:
    Visual amenity (hence Tree Preservation Orders)
    Health - physical & psychological
    Focal landscape points and contribution to the street scene
    Biodiversity value and habitat structure
    Flood prevention – interception/attenuation
    Climate change adaptation – energy savings (deciduous trees planted close to
       buildings), local temperature reduction in summer & shade
    Helping to reduce air and noise pollution if planted in sufficient depth
    Economic benefits – property prices, wood products (inc biomass), employment of
       arboricultural staff.

Q4 What best practice exists in the management of street trees?

Individual boroughs have different policies regarding street trees. A prime indicator of best
practice is a published tree strategy, setting out priorities for management. Promotion of
tree strategies is a high priority in the LTWF. A recent survey of London boroughs by the
Framework Manager found that only ten strategies exist. Draft model policies and a tree

strategy template are currently being prepared to guide those boroughs revising or
preparing new strategies. This is due to be completed in 2007.

The LTOA also promote best practice on tree management and share experiences among
members, organising regular meetings and site visits around London on a range of tree

Q5 How are the Mayor’s policies regarding street trees taken into account when
planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?

Street trees are covered in the adopted London Plan under policy 4B.4 on enhancing the
public realm. The LTWF has been involved in strengthening policy at the regional level.
Further Alterations to the London Plan (Sept 2006), include a new policy to protect,
maintain and enhance trees and woodland (3D.12i).

The Draft East London Green Grid SPG refers to the contribution that trees make to
London adapting to the effects of climate change, in particular reducing the Urban Heat
Island (SPG Implementation Point 7). It recognises the value of the existing tree and
woodland resource, and underlines that new planting should be appropriate for the location,
reflecting the right place - right tree principles.

Q6 How effective has the London Tree & Woodland Framework been regarding
the protection, maintenance and management of London’s street trees?

The publication of the London Tree and Woodland Framework in March 2005 was a major
landmark in the promotion, protection and management of London‟s trees and woodlands.
The Mayor and Forestry Commission currently fund a Framework Manager until February
2009 to develop and implement the proposals in the LTWF.

The LTWF has brought together a range of partners to address some of the issues facing
London‟s street trees. This includes strengthen the partnership delivering London‟s
Woodland Habitat Action Plan. It has also helped secure a Heritage Lottery Fund grant
through the Capital Woodlands Project. Transport for London is a core supporter of the
LTWF and has strengthen its policies on street tree protection and management.

The GLA, through myself, chair the steering group of the LTWF. The steering group
manages the work of the Framework Manager who is currently involved in:

a) Assisting the LTOA to produce a revised version of their report “A Risk Limitation
   Strategy for Tree Root Claims
b) Working with the Association of Local Authority Risk Managers to produce “A Joint
   Tree Root Protocol” for processing tree related insurance claims.
c) Working with the LTOA to develop a valuation system to value street trees in the
   context of insurance claims and more generally for street tree populations (Capital Asset
   Value for Amenity Trees- CAVAT)
d) Working with The National Joint Utilities Group to revise and update their document
   10- Guidelines for the Planning, Installation, Repair and Maintenance of Utility
   Services in Proximity to Trees. (NJUG 10).
e) Producing guidance for Local authorities to assist the production of an integrated and
   comprehensive Tree Strategy that compliments and feeds into their Local Development
   Frameworks and Supplementary Planning Documents.

f) The Right Trees for London research projects sponsored by partners (Forestry
   Commission, Natural England, GLA, RHS, Tree Council) to investigate the qualities of
   trees and adaptations to current management practices required in the future so London
   streets can continue to be planted with trees that help mitigate and adapt to climate
   change impacts.
g) Organising a Climate Adaptation Forum for Trees and Woodlands in London to look at
   the issue of climate change and the adaptations necessary in planting choices and
   schemes so that London retains its tree cover.
h) Stimulating a dialogue between architects, urban designers and tree managers so that
   the LTWF Right Place Right Tree Initiative is included in the decision-making and
   planning process for all new developments in London. This includes giving
   presentations to planners, urban designers and architects.

There will obviously be constraints on what the Framework Manager can achieve through
advice and partnership. Sponsorship is required to take most projects forward. With
regard to street trees, LTOA and its membership of local authority arboriculturalists and
contractors must be major partners in these projects.

Q7 What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street

The LTWF recognises that if London‟s street trees are to contribute to Londoners‟ quality
of life they need to be protected and cared for properly. The power to prescribe street tree
protection and maintenance to boroughs and other landowners is not within the Mayor‟s
direct control. Transport for London (TfL) aims to protect all street trees within its area of
responsibility, following the principles in the LTWF, and has produced a written procedure
note for trees threatened with removal. The LDA, through their Design for Biodiversity
guidance and through Design for London, is supportive of the retention and planting of
street trees. TfL and LDA contributed to the preparation of the LTWF and are on the
steering group.

The LTWF gives strategic generic advice on street trees and urges London boroughs to
produce their own tree strategy, to address local priorities on protection and maintenance.
The Framework Manager is producing more detailed guidance on what borough tree
strategies should include as policies and action.

At the national level, changes to legislation on underground services could be changed to
benefit street trees, including a requirement for more coordination of services (shared
ducting) and maintenance, with local or regional authorities resuming control of the
underground service infrastructure.

Changes to national planning legislation could:
    Restrict pavement crossovers that threaten street trees
    remove permitted developments rights for gardens that currently allow trees to be
    allow blanket protection of street trees while permitting essential arboricultural

Building regulations should insist that new developments and redevelopments on all
shrinkable (including clay soils) are constructed with foundations adequate enough to allow

the planting of street trees of sufficient scale and size to assist in mitigating and adapting to
climate change.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Barnes
Senior Policy Adviser (Biodiversity)
Greater London Authority


                                       LB Bromley
                       Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

Has there been a loss of street trees in London?

In the London Borough of Bromley there has been a decline in the number of street trees
over the last three years.

If so, what are the reasons and what is the impact of this loss?

This is due to the Borough undertaking its first full asset inventory survey of all highway
stock. This has drawn to our attention a number of trees that have required removal due to
condition. The London Borough of Bromley also lost in excess of 200 trees in the recent
storms of December 2006 – January 2007.

The impact of this loss is that we are replanting less trees than are being removed.

In an effort to redress the balance the London Borough of Bromley plants 400 highway
trees annually. This year opportunities for external funding will be examined to increase
the number of street trees planted.

What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have proved
most suitable for London‟s street environment?

This year a mixture of containerised and bare rooted trees have been planted in the London
Borough of Bromley. Species include:

Pyrus chanticleer
Sorbus aucuparia Sheerwater'
Cretaegus monogyra stricta
Sorbus aucuparia
Prunus Kanzan ( A few planted in streets that have a long history of this tree, the residents
expect a replacement of like for like).
Amelanchier arborea Robin Hill
Betula albosensis Fascination
Ginkgo biloba
Sorbus aucuparia 'Cardinal royal'

Which types of trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects of climate

Common Alder
Field Maple
Norway Maple
Scotts Pine
Silver Birch

Within the London Borough of Bromley main arterial roads will be prioritised and trees
that improve air quality will be planted.

What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?

Research has shown that trees improve community spirit and well being.
Trees soften the impact of urban areas.
Defensible Space (from “Social Aspects of urban forestry, the role of arboriculture in a
healthy social ecology”, Frances E Kuo).

Some street trees improve air quality.
Bring bio-diversity into urban areas and provide a link with the countryside.
Provide shade, breeze and cooling within urban areas.

Street trees improve property value.

What best practise exists in the management of street trees?

Within the London Borough of Bromley:

All works are carried out to BS3998.
Street trees are surveyed annually.
All planting with associated maintenance is carried out to a standard as specified in the term
contract and set out as best practise.

How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
developments such as the Thames gateway?

No comment

How effective has the tree and woodland framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London‟s street trees?

The London Borough of Bromley has not fully utilised the Tree and Woodland framework.
Last year whilst working on a Borough strategy for highway trees we sought advise from
Jim Smith the Trees and Woodlands Framework Officer. He was very helpful on this

What improvements could be made to policies regarding street trees?

No comment


Loss of Street Trees

Your letter of the 15th December 2006 addressed to Colin Hilton has been forwarded onto
me for a reply. Given your reply by date is today, I will keep my comments brief but should
you require any further information, my contact details are on the footer below.

The main causes of street trees losses in Liverpool are;

·     Pathogenic decay fungi causing significant and unacceptable structural weaknesses.
The worst two are Meripilus and Ustilina for which we exercise zero tolerance and always

·    Storm damage usually in conjunction the above. It is a rare thing for a tree free of any
defects to fail during high winds. It is nearly always a combination of factors. That said
though, on the 18th January we had strong winds that took out healthy trees, about

·     Public realm and highway improvements. Previously these were the highest cause of
tree losses whereas nowadays as trees are integrated into the design process, real
opportunities can be provided. Trees can still be lost but significant replanting can quite
often not only mitigate for losses but can actually provide a better end scenario (choice of
species, reduced maintenance costs, better located etc).

·    As many highway trees were historically planted in small pits within flagged
pavements, root damage / surface rooting is not uncommon quite often creating tripping
hazards. Where root severance is required to remedy the problem, trees need to be removed.
Nowadays, any planting / replanting in flagged paved areas must have at least either a 3m x
3m individual planting pit or a 2m wide planting trench which regretfully means that due to
a general lack of funding many previously tree lined roads are becoming progressively

Up until recently the main criteria for highway tree planting has been “will it grow there?”
with little or no consideration for long term maintenance obligations (and why 40% of the
tree stock is Acer, Tilia and Platanus). Getting the right tree in the right place has meant
that in verges the use of Fastigiate or compact canopied varieties has become more
important. Low maintenance is the priority. Quercus robur Fastigiata Koster, Carpinus
betulus fastigiata Frans Fontaine, Lirodendron tulipifera Fastigiatum, Metasequoia
glyptostroboides and Ginkgo biloba have all proved worthy and where space is a little more
generous or where more interest is required, Liquidamber styraciflua, Amelanchier arborea
Robin Hill, Betula albosinensis 'Fascination', have also been used. All cultivars of Acer
campestre do well. During the early 1980‟s 77,000 Elms were removed from the city and so
we are morally obliged to attempt to strategically restock small areas at a time with disease
“resistant” varieties. To date very little has been done concerning tree species and climate

Up until October 2006 Liverpool still had CCT grounds maintenance contracts which did
not necessarily have Municipal tree care on the top of its list. From October 2006 two 12
year performance lead contracts were let to Glendale-Liverpool Ltd for Parks, Woodlands,
Outdoor Leisure and Cemeteries and Enterprise-Liverpool Ltd for the Neighbourhood
Package which consists of Highways and incidental public open space. Both companies were
formed in partnership with the city council involving many of its staff (including Client)
being transferred into these partnerships. Driven / Guided by key performance indicators
and milestones both Joint Venture companies are committed to continuous improvements.
Whilst it is still very early in the new arrangements, there is already a different “feel” in the
way services are now being delivered.

LCC does not have a formal tree and woodland policy or strategy as yet but one has finally
been pencilled onto our agenda. I am hopeful to have a first draft within the next 12 months.
Both Joint Venture Companies have a big part to play in delivering it.

I hope this answers some of your questions but feel free to get back to me.


Peter Howson
Tree & Woodland Manager
Parks & Environment
Liverpool City Council


Ealing‟s Tree Service is part of the Parks, Countryside and Events Service. We form part of
the Environment and Customer Services Directorate at Ealing Council.

We are a team of four permanent staff and we manage most of the trees on council owned
land. We also provide an advisory service to the council‟s insurance, highways and
planning departments amongst others on a variety of tree related issues.

Ealing has approx 24,000 street trees within the borough boundaries. Our annual budget is
targeted at managing the council‟s existing street trees and planting as many trees as its
budget allows, but usually around 600, every year.

With regards to maintaining the borough‟s street trees there are two levels of inspection –
Rapid Tree Survey and Cyclic Inspection.

The Rapid Tree Survey is a fast inspection of all street trees in the autumn to identify all
dead and defective trees that should be removed or pruned in the late autumn to ensure they
are in a safe condition.

The Cyclic Inspection is a routine, more detailed inspection programme of all street trees.
This is done by electoral Wards and is based on a three-year cycle.
All species of tree are inspected to ensure they are in good health and condition and will be
pruned if they are causing a nuisance such as low branches hitting pedestrians or cars; or
touching windows, obstructing road-signs or street-lighting etc.

The Council has been pruning its street trees under this programme since 1979.

In response to the specific questions raised in your letter:
Each year the Council plants as many trees as its budget allows, but usually around 600 new
trees. By and large this number is higher than those removed therefore ensuring that the
number of trees in our streets increases slightly every year. However every year a number
of trees are removed from the public highway. The Council does not remove trees readily –
the Council is committed to planting and maintaining trees in our environment for the
benefit of our residents and the environment. However, trees are organic structures and do
suffer from defects and death and have to compete for space in the highway. The most
common reasons for the removal of trees are because they are dead, dying or diseased. In
some cases they may have been vandalized or have caused significant damage to properties
in the immediate vicinity. From time to time we also remove street trees as part of planning
development applications although in such cases we have a strict replanting policy with a
ratio of 2 for 1 except where they are covered by TPO or conservation area protection. As a
result the impact of street tree losses in Ealing is minimized as much as possible.
The Council is committed to street tree planting for the benefit of our landscape and
environment. Each year the Council plants as many trees as its budget allows.

Ealing council has a tree pallet, or a chosen range of trees that can be planted in the public
highway. These include native and non-native species and the pallet is reviewed every three
to five years. The pallet provides a good broad selection of trees that can be planted. In the
past year we have changed our approach to planting slightly in that we are evaluating all of
the boroughs streets to try and select two or three species that would be appropriate for
every street. To do this we take account of the trees that are already planted in the street,
what would have been planted historically, the width of the street, pavement and the front
gardens of the properties. This enables us to choose trees that will fit into the overall
appearance of the street whilst minimizing the risk of damage to residential properties. As a
result we are able to sustain the broad range of tree species that we plant on an annual basis,
including the larger forest types such and the Lime and Plane.
At present we are only beginning to consider the effects of global warming when choosing
species for planting. We have developed an excellent relationship with our tree supplier
who provides new varieties for us to trial annually and is an area that we will begin to focus
on more in the coming months and years. We are confident that the annual increase in the
number of street trees is a positive contribution towards limiting the effects of global
warming and further consideration of the species types in the future will produce even
greater benefits.
As I have detailed in the summary of this document the council has been managing its‟
street tree stocks proactively since 1979. Currently we work closely with organizations
such as the LTOA (London Tree Officers Association), The Arboriculture Association, The
Forestry Commission and the AAIS (Arboricultural Advisory and Information Service) to
ensure that we are utilizing up to date research and best practice techniques in the
management of our street trees.
Many of the outlined Mayors policies are covered in detail with general planning
applications. It is essential that Arboricultural input to all planning applications is provided
in order to correctly assess the proposals in relation to the structural integrity of trees on
and off development site in relation to the proposal and the development of a site.

I would state that the policies outlined in the mayors Tree and Woodland Framework for
London have not been fully addressed with regard to the proposed provision of the tram
where 150-200 year old London Plane trees are proposed for removal to accommodate
development. In areas of decreased tree population the simple view to replacement plant

does not provide either the landscape or historic value lost nor the provision or
enhancement of the green corridor provision of mature trees as already acknowledged in the
Street trees should not only be protected but should be encouraged. With sensible
management there are no reasons that street trees cannot thrive within urban

LB Ealing


                      Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

1.     Street trees have been removed within the London Borough of Haringey (LBH) due
       to their poor condition, becoming unsuitable to their location and their involvement
       in causing subsidence damage.

1.2    However, within LBH there has been a gradual increase in the total population of
       street trees after implementing successful planting schemes using funding from the
       Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and Better Haringey‟s „Making the Difference‟
       scheme. An increase of 388 street trees has occurred between 2002 and 2007.

       Street tree removal and new trees planted

                                       No of street trees        No of new street trees
             Financial Year                removed                      planted
               2002/2003                      228                         155
               2003/2004                      201                         426
               2004/2005                      299                         273
               2005/2006                      304                         431
               2006/2007                      197                         332

                  Total                        1229                        1617

1.3    The number of new trees has been evenly spilt between the East and West of the
       Borough, with the majority of trees removed in the West, where there is a greater
       volume of street trees and a higher incidence of subsidence claims. The Council is
       committed to increasing the tree population, particularly in the East of the Borough,
       and has recently agreed a capital provision of £80,000 per annum for the next three
       years for this purpose.

2.     Careful consideration is now given to the choice of species for new street tree
       planting. The choice of tree species must be appropriate to the location. Street trees
       must be tolerant of pollution and be able to establish in the poor rooting
       environment found beneath pavements and roads.

2.1    There should be adequate space to allow the tree to grow to its mature size without
       the need for regular remedial pruning. Future nuisance issues must also be taken

          into account such as blocking of light and excessive leaf fall. These can be minimised
          by choosing species with a columnar form and small leaves easily dispersed by the

2.2       In areas with a high incidence of subsidence claims, those species with a low water
          demand must be planted to minimise the likelihood of future claims. Climate change
          is an equally important factor, species must be chosen that will tolerate extended dry
          periods and have a good ability to resist pest and diseases. Additionally, the aftercare
          maintenance of young trees must entail increased inspection rates, watering and use
          of mulches.

2.3.1     We must plant a variety of tree species to maintain a healthy street tree population
          and increase biodiversity. Species planted in recent years within LBH that have
          proved suitable and established successfully include:

          Acer campestre, Amelanchier arborea, Betula pendula, Betula ermanni, Crataegus „x‟
          prunifolia, C. „x‟ lavalleei, Gingko biloba, Gledistsia triacanthos,
          Ligustrum lucidum, Malus trilobata, Prunus incise, P. Pandora, P. umineko, Pyrus
          calleryana, Sorbus aria, S. aucuparis, S. intermedia, and S. „x‟ thuringiaca.

3.        Street trees provide many social, environmental and economic benefits. Planting
          new trees helps towards implement government policies on sustainable
          development, urban renewal, biodiversity and health and well being.

         Trees are a vital component of streets, enhancing the quality of life for people living
          and working in London. They are aesthetically pleasing introducing an element of
          naturalness and help to soften often harsher aspects by screening and adding scale.
         Trees improve air quality by removing and sequestrating carbon dioxide from the
          atmosphere and producing oxygen in return. They can also trap dust and particle
          pollution on their leaves and bark.
         Trees offer valuable shade from harmful UV rays and reflected heat from built
          structures, they also intercept rainfall helping to reduce storm runoff and flash
         Trees reduce wind speeds, particularly around tall buildings, they also reduce local
          air temperature by transpiration from their leaves.
         Trees can be used to screen and reduce noise pollution, particularly near transport
         Trees provide a habitat for a wide range of wildlife, enhancing biodiversity, and
          allowing the public to interact with it on a local level. They provide green corridors
          linking areas of open space.
         A landscape with trees viewed from homes and offices can help to de-stress
          occupants and it can also increase recovery times and decrease drug use in hospital
         Tree lined streets can exhibit increased property prices of up to 15-20%.
         Trees can often have a historical or cultural link to the past. LBH has many avenues
          of London planes dating back to Victorian times.

4.        The management of Street trees must be undertaken pro-actively. LBH has
          implemented a cyclical tree inspection and maintenance programme. A computerized
          asset management system is also essential, LBH uses Confirm Arboriculture.

4.1       Best practice exists in the following legislation and published guidance:
         LBH Unitary Development Plan.
         LBH Tree Strategy (at present in draft format)
         LBH Communities Strategy.
         BS 3998:1989 Recommendations for tree works.
         The Highways Act 1980 and New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.
         NJUG 10 Guidelines for the planning, installation and maintenance of utility
          services in proximity to trees.
         Arboricultural Advisory and Information Service (AAIS) Research and Practice

5.        When planning new developments, developers and Local Authorities must promote
          the important contribution of trees to sustainable development and urban
          regeneration. Consideration must be given to the safe retention of existing trees and
          where appropriate ensure new tree planting is incorporated into their new
          developments. Use of planning conditions and Section 106 agreements should also
          be considered to ensure new trees are planted and maintained.

6.        The Tree and Woodland Framework has been effective in the protection,
          maintenance and management of street trees. Its aims and objectives are being
          incorporated into Borough Tree Strategies, fulfilling its purpose in promoting a co-
          coordinated approach across London. The frameworks methodology of the „right
          tree in the right place‟ is being implemented in LBH with consideration given to
          choice of tree species.

7.        Policies on street trees must be revised and updated on a regular basis to ensure new
          research and best practice in incorporated.

LB Haringey


Dear Darren Johnson,

Loss of Street Trees Survey

Thank you for your letter of 15th December 2006 to Moira Gibb, Chief Executive, which has
been passed to me for a response. I am sorry that it has taken us a few weeks to put this
information together, however, we wished to provide a comprehensive response as possible.

Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely

Fiona Dean
Assistant Director for Culture
Culture and Environment Directorate
LB Camden

Response to information requested:

Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what
is the impact of this loss?

       Annually the borough removes approximately 120 street trees. The two main
       reasons for removal are firstly, where trees are dead, dying or dangerous. Secondly,
       where it has become necessary as the result of a third party tree root claim against
       the Council. An approximate breakdown of figure for these two groups would be 110
       and 15 respectively.

What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have
proved most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of trees will
need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate change?

       Generally, there is a policy to plant smaller native ornamental species where
       possible. However, where there are established avenues of forest type trees that have
       historical significance, we would look to maintain the avenue with the same type of

       The main species of planted for street tree replacements are: London Plane, Lime,
       Manna Ash, Silver Birch, Acacia, Prunus, Maple, Sorbus, Malus, Crataegus, Prunus,
       Pyrus, Lagerstroemia, Ginkgo, Magnolia, Koelreuteria, Amelanchier, and
       Cotoneaster, Photinia, Ligustrum, Tamarix grown on a single stem.

       All of the above species of tree are planted in the north of the borough. However, the
       more delicate cultivars of Sorbus and Malus are generally not planted in the
       southern area, (south of the Euston Road), due to excessive summer heat and higher
       levels of pollution.

      In relation to climate change, the borough is planting increasing numbers of tree
      that are more heat tolerant, such as Photinia, Ligustrum, Lagerstroemia, Ginkgo,
      and Acacia.

What are the social, environmental & economic benefits of street trees?

      Camden‟s Tree Strategy recognises the benefits of trees in improving the quality of
      our environment, improving air quality, micro-climate characteristics, providing
      aesthetic, mental health and social benefits. Trees also provide a „sense of place and

What best practice exists in the management of street trees?

      Camden has an Open Space strategy, which the Tree & Biodiversity strategies relate

      A tree database that records all the details of Council owned trees, including the
      history of inspections and works carried out. The database also produces works
      orders that are issued to the contractor and a „customer services‟ module.

      Cyclical inspection and maintenance based on a main three year programme, and
      biennially where necessary.

      An annual replacement tree planting programme.

      An annual programme for establishing new tree sites in the highway.

      In relation to street trees becoming involved in third party tree root claims for
      subsidence, there is a „service level agreement‟ (SLA) in place with the Council‟s
      Claims Section. (Where appropriate, particularly in relation to timescales when
      dealing with claims, the recommendations of the „Woolfe‟ report were taken into
      account when drafting the SLA.)

      Apart from cyclical tree inspections there is also a system for detailed tree
      inspection, which includes the use of decay detection equipment where appropriate.

      Currently the Council is looking to develop the tree database further to facilitate a
      tree planting analysis section. This will record details relating to tree planting at
      location level. The intention is to record the types of species being planted, to
      provide consistency in selection at „site‟ level. Site difficulties and utilities would also
      be recorded along with enquiries from residents, local groups and Councillors. It is
      intended that all these areas of information would be easily accessed via the module,
      to provide a centralised method of recording and retrieving information in relation
      to tree planting.

How are the Mayor’s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
developments, such as the Thames Gateway?

       The main document referred to in respect of developments is BS5837, Trees In
       Relation to Construction, and retention of trees is a priority. However, this does take
       into account the need for the „Right tree, Right Place‟ as promoted by the
       Framework. Section 106 agreements are used to secure replacement, or new,
       planting sites, to maintain or increase the borough‟s street tree population. As a
       central London borough Camden it is aware of the need to incorporate sustainable
       tree cover when planning developments.

How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London’s street trees?
       Camden‟s Tree Strategy is currently being re-drafted and this process will take into
       account the key aims and objectives of the Trees & Woodland Framework, as well as
       taking into account local issues.

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

I refer to Darren Johnson‟s letter of 15 December 2006 requesting a written note of my
experience regarding street trees.

TfL London Streets is responsible for the management of the „green estate‟ on the
Transport for London Road Network (TLRN). This includes approximately 67,000 street
trees, grassed verges, cutting and embankment slopes and planted areas from ornamental
plants to semi-natural woodland. The responsibilities and objectives are set out in TfL‟s
draft Highway Asset Management Plan.

The questions below have been answered in relation to the TLRN.

Q: Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what is
the impact of this loss?
A: There has been a loss of street trees on the TLRN since 2000 due to natural decline and
external factors (including drought, disease and inappropriate underground conditions).
TfL aims to replace trees on a like-for-like basis where this is possible.

Q: What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have
proved most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of trees will need to be
planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate change?
A: TfL aims to replace large-growing species with the same or similar (e.g. Planes), as these
are appropriate for the scale of much of the TLRN. Where above-ground space is limited,
e.g. on a narrow footway, small-growing species are generally more appropriate. TfL
certainly is mindful of climate change issues, although it is too early to state a preference for
any particular species in terms of their ability to withstand changing temperatures and
associated difficulties such as drought.

Q: What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees? A: These are
set out in the London Tree & Woodland Framework, to which TfL contributed. Certainly
it is recognised that trees have a value in encouraging biodiversity, and there is evidence
also that trees can reduce particulate matter in the environment. The social benefits of trees
are difficult to quantify, although since there is some evidence to suggest that trees planted
on residential streets can improve property prices, it seems likely that trees are viewed
positively by Londoners.

Q: What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
A: London Street‟s Term Maintenance Contracts require that professional arboricultural
contractors are employed to work on trees on the TLRN. Until April 2007, professional
arboricultural consultants will be employed to inspect trees and to advise on works
required. From April 2007, this service will be brought in-house.

In addition to pruning for arboricultural reasons, trees may be pruned for safety reasons,
e.g. clearance above footway and carriageway to allow the safe passage of all highway users.
London Streets has a procedure note to be followed when approval is required to fell a
street tree. This includes trees which are dead, diseased or dangerous; and also trees which
need to be removed to make way for a new development, whether the developer is TfL or a
third party.

The procedure note also applies to street trees which are the subject of a third party claim
alleging tree root damage to adjacent properties. The procedure note requires a professional
arboricultural report; a subsequent recommendation for action from the Environmental
Manager for Streets and the approval of this recommendation by TfL‟s Director of Road
Network Management.

Q: How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
A: TfL seeks to maintain all street trees where possible and the procedure note is applied to
all new developments on the TLRN. This includes TfL major projects and the Mayor‟s 100
Public Spaces programme.

Q: How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London‟s street trees?
A: The Framework has had some success in raising the importance of street trees. TfL is
hopeful that the creation of the post of London Tree & Woodland Framework Manager (see
„Additional information‟) will assist in continuing the promotion of best practice in
arboricultural management. In particular TfL hopes that the Framework Manager will
assist in emphasising to private developers the need to minimise the impact of new
developments on street trees. To ensure that designers understand arboricultural issues,
TfL has put the London Tree & Woodland Framework Manager in contact with Urban
Design London, to provide advice to urban and landscape designers on arboricultural
requirements and climate change issues affecting trees.

Q: What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
A: TfL aims to consider all environmental benefits and disbenefits through the application
of environmental assessment of projects of all sizes, regardless of whether or not an
Environmental Impact Assessment is required. The move to network management and
asset management plans on the TLRN will assist this process.

Additional information:

Darren‟s letter also asked for other relevant information:

TfL undertook research into the underground conditions required for both street tree root
growth and to support the footway. It concluded that footway materials can support tree
root growth if compacted to correct levels. The research also recommended that
opportunities for planting street trees without conventional tree pits should be sought since,
tree pits may act as sumps, or that tree roots may be unable to extend beyond the pit due to
soil compaction. There is still a need for tree pits, however, and TfL is close to developing a
tree pit detail to be included in the Streetscape Guidance for the TLRN.

TfL is funding a contribution of £25,000 per annum for 3 years to the post of the London
Tree & Woodland Framework Manager. The role will carry out the objectives identified in
the Tree & Woodland Framework; assessing and co-ordinating the strategies adopted by
TfL and other highway authorities to manage the green belt.

I would be pleased to attend the public meeting on 8 March and would be prepared to
attend as a witness to provide further information to the Environment Committee.

Yours sincerely

Nicola Cheetham
Environmental Manager
Transport for London

Further Info from TfL

1. Do you know how many street trees have been lost since 2000 on TLRN? No but we are
are hoping to be able to record numbers of trees lost and new trees planted through
development of our asset management system for the TLRN.

2. Do you know how many trees have been removed as a result of insurance claims? I am
confident that only a very small number have been removed. It is our policy to challenge
claims which allege damage to property due to trees.

3. Are you involved with tree planting as part of the Thames Gateway development? To a
limited extent. I am involved with the environmental aspects of some of the TfL schemes in
the Thames Gateway, ie the proposed Thames Gateway Bridge and the developing Thames
Gateway Transit schemes. I am also a member of working groups for the Cross River Park
and Green Grid initiatives. There will be some tree planting associated with the proposed
Thames Gateway Bridge and Cross River Park but I expect the majority of the new
landscape schemes to be 'natural' rather than formal street tree planting, in accordance with
the 'right place - right tree' principle.

4. Are trees going to be removed for the tram development in west London? Yes.
Neil Kedar in TfL Major Projects has already briefed Darren Johnson on this.

WLT has appointed a professional arboricultural consultant to survey the trees, assess the
impact the tram scheme would have on the tree population and to develop new planting
plans. The tree survey has been undertaken in accordance with the British Standard
5837:2005 Guidance for Trees in Relation to Construction.

The WLT commitment is to preserve and protect trees wherever possible, minimising the
loss of trees along the Uxbridge Road. Mitigation for the loss of trees along the route is
on a three for one basis for all highly desirable trees felled, and a two for one basis for all
other trees. Replacement species will be chosen in consultation with the relevant Local
Authorities and determined in accordance with the Urban Design Guidance for WLT ,
with particular species used to emphasise local distinctiveness.

The tree assessment process has taken into account the tram alignment, changes to utilities
and construction activities. The emphasis has been to retain as many trees as possible along
the route corridor. At this stage in the assessment process it is estimated that approximately
500 trees will be lost from the Uxbridge Road, with approximately 1000 new trees being
planted as mitigation.

A new tree survey and assessment is currently being undertaken for the Environmental
Impact Assessment.

5. Please could you explain your role in working with local authorities regarding street
trees. I have limited involvement with local authorities on operational matters but I provide
advice to our Network Managers on tree and landscape management issues who have
regular contact. I have contact with Borough tree officers through the London Tree Officers
Association, although I am not a member.


Dear Darren,

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

The LDA does not have a specific policy on street trees, as the variety and range of our
development projects require a flexible, needs based approach. However we are, of course,
fully committed to improving urban environments and biodiversity; and street trees clearly
have a valuable role to play.

Through Design for London and the LDA‟s Design for Biodiversity guidance, these
considerations are at the heart of our development activity across the Thames Gateway and
the rest of London.

Our commitment to tree-planting is best reflected through our work on open spaces such as
Thames Barrier Park, other parts of the Green Grid, plantings planned for Crystal Palace
Park, public realm projects including Wembley Stadium Station Square and Acton Town
Square. Wembley Stadium Station Square, one of the Major‟s 100 spaces, has tree-lined
edges with nine medium sized trees and six semi-mature Pin Oaks, while Acton Town
Square includes four semi mature oak trees as well as 10 replacement Cherry/Gingko trees.
Future projects include Hindman‟s Way, in the Dagenham Dock sustainable industrial park,
with planting of mature willow, birch and Scots pine planned along the street. The Green
Grid also promotes greening of streets and associated spaces through tree planting and

The benefits of street-trees are well recognised. Along with softening and moderating the
urban realm and improving biodiversity, their contribution to the climate change agenda
also incorporates adapting for hotter summers by creating shade and screening. We feel
that improvements in design to incorporate trees will improve the stock in London. A

project website is under construction to build on the Design for Biodiversity guidance to
provide best practice, case studies and practical help for developers on design, management
and aftercare.

We recognise there is a need for better monitoring of street tree numbers. This is a fast-
moving area and I want to ensure we harness the full extent of research being conducted
into biodiversity and street trees. To that end, an LDA representative attended the Trees in
London Climate Adaptation Seminar on 14 November 2006. We are now awaiting
recommendations from the GLA and Royal Horticultural Society‟s research into Tree
Selection and Care in a Changing Climate, which could be incorporated into developer‟s
guidance. I hope that this will better enable us to answer your questions on types of trees
that should be planted and on future policy direction

The London Trees and Woodland Framework (LTWF) will, I hope, be very effective. It
was prepared by a wide partnership including the LDA and addresses the protection,
management and enhancement of London's trees and woodlands over the next 20 years.
We support the Framework and are on the implementation group to ensure it gets put into
action. We will aim to embed its principles of a „Right Place Right Tree‟ approach in our
developments, ensuring new planting is appropriately located and designed and that
aftercare measures are included in management agreements.

I hope that this submission is helpful to you and the Environment Committee‟s
investigation into the Loss of Street Trees. If you have any further questions or require
further information from the LDA please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Manny Lewis
Chief Executive
London Development Agency


Dear Mr Davies


I am writing to notify you of Brent Council‟s response to your request for information for
the Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation.
As requested, I will respond to each of the questions in turn:

         Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and
          what is the impact of this loss?
   In Brent there has been a loss of street trees, roughly equivalent to 250 - 300 trees per
   The main reasons are:
    Subsidence
    Natural Causes - age
    Adverse weather condition
    Diseased or dying
    The installation of footway crossings
    Impeding sight lines for CCTV

   The impacts of these losses include:
          Loss of shade provided by trees
          loss of wildlife habitat
    change in landscape character
    age diversity
    more polluted areas
    reduction in aesthetic value
    increased dissatisfaction amongst residents

          What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types
           have proved most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of
           trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate
   Fewer forest-type trees (e.g. London Plane) are used in replacing trees that have been
   removed for whatever reason, and we tend to use ornamental species as replacement
   trees such as Pyrus Chanticleer (Pear) and Acer Campesti (Field Maple).
   With global climate change, temperatures are predicted to rise in the future and this
   might lean towards the greater use of trees such as London Plane, Chestnut, Oak etc., as
   they are more suited to Mediterranean type climates. However, our Policy is not to
   plant these types because of their association with subsidence claims from tree root

        What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
   Social – Trees have always been valued for their shade during summer months, but
   more recently there is greater recognition for the combined way that the whole tree
   population of a city can limit the increase in ambient temperature that arises from the
   sun, warming hard surfacing such as asphalt and buildings. Higher temperatures result
   in greater use of air conditioning and ventilation systems that in turn contribute to the

   consumption of fossil fuels. Street trees play a major role in the shading of heat
   absorbing highway surfaces.

   Environmental – One of the major advantages is that by their very presence an
   otherwise harsh urban environment becomes more acceptable. Other qualities are more
   measurable, such as their ability to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen or the filtering of
   airborne pollution and particulates. These 'green corridors' can also provide screening
   between opposing lines of residential housing or between housing and industrial

   Economic – Trees help in increasing the look of an area and can impact on increasing
   property values.

        What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
   There is no single document we know of that definitively outlines the best practice for
   the management of street trees. The LTA risk limitation strategy is useful but not fully
   comprehensive as a code of practice for tree management. However, most boroughs
   tend to use similar methods in dealing with trees that potentially may cause subsidence
   claims e.g. pollarding when tree is close to property and crown reduction when tree is
   set back from property.
   For your reference, I include a copy of Brent‟s current Street Tree Management Policy
   that is currently under periodic review.

        How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when
         planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
   Developers are being urged more and more to include tree planting in development
   schemes they are undertaking in the borough, or fund additional trees through Planning
   Gain Funding.

          How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the
           protection, maintenance and management of London‟s street trees?
   It has focussed attention on the importance of trees and the many benefits they provide
   and to have robust maintenance programmes in place to ensure sustainability of our

        What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
   We would like to see closer working with the community in an effort to increase general
   knowledge and understanding of trees and tree maintenance, explaining the Council
   cyclic maintenance regimes and the efforts being made to combat climatic conditions and
   the impact they may have on trees.

I hope this information is helpful, and confirm that I am happy for it to be viewed as non-

Yours sincerely

Keith Balmer
Director of StreetCare
Brent Council


Dear Richard

In response to the letter sent by Darren Johnson on the 15th of December 2006, I make the
following comments in my capacity as the Chair of the London Tree Officers Association.

I can qualify this overview by receiving completed documents from a significant proportion
of the London Boroughs asked for their submissions and will refer to them individually
where appropriate.

       ·   Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons
       and what is the impact of this loss?

      Pressure from Insurance industry for alleged tree root subsidence to low rise
       buildings. This pressure is brought to bear whether the damage is proven or not.
      Climatic factors, drought, storms, increase in disease.
      Development. Either through not addressing street trees in the design and planning
       stages, or, movement of heavy plant machinery and heavy vehicles accessing site.
      Off-street parking.
      Vandalism.

The majority of boroughs report an increase in planting vs. loss. Whether these trees
establish is another matter and one addressed later. There is a feeling that the outer London
boroughs are not as proactive as the inner London boroughs at replanting or increasing tree
stock levels (from Jim Smith, LTWF)
       ·   What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which
       types have proved most suitable for London's street environment?

      Overwhelmingly reported ornamental plantings both native and exotic.
      Where climate change is considered, non-native trees suited to predicted change are
       being field tested.
      Cultivars and clones, with restricted habit for their location.
      High forest species planted to continue avenue planting and retain landscape

       ·    What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street

      Point toward responses from Haringey, Islington, LTWF manager, Barnet.

       ·    What Best Practice exists in the management of street trees?

      Borough tree strategies.
      Databases with tree details, pruning history, customer care,
      Cyclical inspection and pruning according to LTOA Risk Limitation Strategy for
       Tree Root Claims.
      Annual Planting budget (including aftercare).

       ·   How are the Mayor's policies regarding street trees taken into account
       when planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?

      Work according to BS 5837
      S 106 funding for planting of street trees. This needs to be more aggressively
      Retain and safeguard street trees as part of development.

       ·   How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the
       protection, maintenance and management of London's street trees?

      Incorporate 'Right Place, Right Tree' into local tree strategies
      It does not address the value of street trees enough (Islington)
      Emphasis on planting but not on aftercare and establishment (Barnet)
      Tram provision and removal of mature Plane trees not mentioned (Ealing)
      Involvement of LTWF manager in all tree initiatives in London is a major benefit
       and his remit will ensure these initiatives are given the importance they are due.

       ·    What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street

      London wide tree strategy. This document should be a template for boroughs to
       create their own strategy based on local considerations.
      London wide database. This was an original aim of the LTOA to contain all tree
       data on one database.
      Development constructed with adequate foundations for planting of high forest
       species. (LTWF)
      Transport for London. TfL manage trees on the busiest routes in and out of London
       but display some of the worst management practices. These include allowing large
       dead standing trees in high risk (roads with constant traffic) situations, some
       contractors with questionable working practices especially regarding health &
       safety, no overall available strategy and inadequate response to public and other
           o Conclusions

The picture is not as bad as first imagined. Most boroughs are actively planting more trees
than are lost, though financial provision for these trees establishment is sometimes lacking,
it is better to plant fewer trees, maintain and water adequately, though this may be
politically unpopular, or even restricted, in times of drought orders.
Pressure for perceived subsidence risk remains as high as ever, though steps are being taken
with the ALARM tree root protocol and the impending publication of the revised LTOA
RLS. This will also include the new CAVAT system of evaluating trees, some of us have
high hopes for these initiatives.
TfL need to improve their practices. The routes they manage are sometimes the only areas
visitors to London will see and this gives an overall poor impression of tree care in the
Street trees are not given the importance they are due. Percentage wise less than 10% of
Londoners visit their woodlands, less than 30% their local parks, but most Londoners are
effected by street trees consciously or subconsciously. The pressure for tree removal is

greater than ever and only with robust policies and strategies in place and political support,
will LA's be able to retain and improve the street trees of London for future benefit for all.
Any more information you would like, please contact me
Yours sincerely

Andy Tipping
London Tree Officers Association


Dear Mr Johnson

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

Thank you for your letter dated 15 December 2007 which has been passed to me for
response. I apologise for the delay in responding, and am now able to reply as follows to the
questions raised.

Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what
is the impact of this loss?

There has been a loss of street trees in Croydon. It is estimated that there are 2000 fewer
street trees than five years ago. The reason for this is partially due to funding pressures
which have limited the resources available to allow the replacement of trees lost to storms,
vehicle damage and natural loss of trees.
The loss is having an impact with local residents expressing concern over the depleted tree

What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have
proved most suitable for London’s street environment? Which types of trees will
need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate change?

Some replacement of trees has taken place over the last 5 years and this year has seen 300
replacement trees being planted.
The bulk of these trees have been varieties of smaller ornamental cherries, as these are
perceived to be easier to maintain over the longer term, demand less water and are popular
with the public (cherries are by far the most common request for replacement). We believe
that low water demanding and drought tolerant tree species will need to be planted in the
future to mitigate any effects from climate change.

What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?

Research indicates that street trees have considerable environmental benefits, in particular,
removing particulates, supporting wildlife and providing shade. Research also indicates that
tree lined streets increase property value for houses in those streets and that people prefer
to live in a “leafy” environment. Trees, therefore, have a role to play in improving both the
social and economic status of an area.

What best practice exists in the management of street trees?

Many boroughs, including Croydon, are able to provide examples of good practice with
regard to the management of their street trees. Croydon is able to provide examples of best
practice in sustainability and woodland management and has been awarded the Forestry
Stewardship certificate. In addition Croydon has also been acknowledged for setting up its
Timber Station. We are not aware of any document that outlines examples of best practice
in Street trees but would welcome such an initiative.

How are the Mayor’s policies regarding the street trees taken into account when
planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?

Croydon‟s U.D.P. outlines the importance of both the retention of existing trees and the
planting of new trees when planning new developments.

How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London’s street trees?

We are of the view that the Tree & Woodland framework has had a limited effect for the
protection, maintenance and management of London‟s street trees. The overriding factor in
many Boroughs has been the limited resource available, this in particular has influenced the
above in Croydon

What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding the street trees?

The following improvements could be made:

   1. A best practice document could be produced to support both tree officers and advise
      Councillors in managing the tree stock.

   2. Increasing Health & Safety requirements make the planting of street trees more
      difficult when they are close to underground services. A document advising public
      utilities, contractors and Councils about the installation of underground services and
      how to safely plant around these services would be welcome.

   3. A policy directive to ensure that Councils adequately fund the planting &
      establishment of street trees would also be welcome. Alternatively, funding from the
      G.L.A. could be set aside to encourage Councils to provide schemes for the planting
      and establishment of street trees.

   4. The increase in litigation has made Councils wary of defending cases where trees are
      implicated in subsidence cases. The adoption by the GLA of a policy that supports
      Councils wishing to defend trees from the threat of removal would again be

   5. Consultation with the Forestry Commission to modify the existing Woodland Grant
      Scheme to include the planting and establishment of trees on streets.

I hope the above has answered your questions however if you do have any further queries
please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully

Barry Lambton
Green Spaces Manager
LB Croydon


Dear Mr Davies,
In response to the above question I believe there has been a loss in our urban tree
population. I believe we only need to look at the measure local authorities employ when
planting new trees to see why.
     Ground is not prepared substantial to support the growth of the tree. In many cases
        holes dug for trees are full of concrete and stones. Hardly the best start for any
     The trees are rarely watered or giving enough space around the trunk from which to
        absorb/collect rainfall. In many places you see less than an inch of earth around the
     Lastly the trees are not protected adequately from vandalism, which sadly seems to
        be what ends the life of most street trees.
I think we could learn a lot from Paris where the greening of streets is taken seriously and
the approach much more aesthetic and importantly innovative.
Often the same type of tree is planted which looks nicer, the trees are also protected
properly. They also plant alongside the edge of a street. So many areas especially in the
suburbs have suffered from being concreted over. I think many of our local authorities lack
the foresight or simply don‟t see the greening of our city as a priority.


Lloyd Sampson
Account Manager


I write further to your recent enquiry regarding information in relation to the loss of street
trees and can advise that our records show a steady increase in losses of highways street
trees annually. The losses are mainly as a result of agreed removal of trees to assist in the
mitigation of Insurance claims, deterioration of stock i.e. fungal infections and decay and
bad weather.

We have, over the past 2 years, carried out a full survey of all the borough‟s tree stock and
here therefore been aware of the long-term outlook, for the borough‟s tree stock. As a
result, we have secured extra funding and created a Tree Strategy enabling us to change
our pruning cycle and style to increase certain species life expectancy by pollarding,
therefore reducing the effects of windblow in bad weather conditions.

We are proposing to commence a regular annual survey and a removal and replacement
programme allowing us to remove deteriorating stock identified in the annual survey and
replacing one-for-one with new stock,

We are also proposing to substantially increase our annual planting budget to replace the
borough‟s diminished tree stock that has reduced in number over the past 5 years.

I have supplied a table below that shows the amount of trees lost compared to the budget
that has been available in years past.

Financial Year        Felled/Lost           Planted                Budget Allocated
                                                                   for replanting
2002/2003             271                   106                    £10,000
2003/2004             287                   130                    £15,750
2004/2005             366                   159                    £25,000
2005/2006             335                   211                    £50,000
2006/2007             Approx 400+           55                     £15,500
Totals                1,659+                661                    £116,250

Finally, the Council has agreed a sum of £1.5m for environmental/greening of the Borough
over the next three years and I would expect that a considerable element of this budget will
be used to increase the numbers of trees planted across the Borough

Yours sincerely
Assistant Director – Contracts
Enfield Council


With regard to why the recent decrease of street trees,
I see two main reasons from my experience:
First, they are rarely given the amount of space they need to collect adequate water and
nutrition, and often fall foul to disease as a result.
Secondly, the roots lifting surrounding paving are a nightmare for councils who fear being
sued for trips, they are therefore removed!

Ray Weston


I'm pleased to see you are doing a review of trees in London. I couldn't honestly say if the
numbers are going down but I do know we need a lot more of them.

What I have noticed in my lifetime, is that people don't much like having trees on their
street if they drip sap and residue on their cars. Plus a lot of people like to turn their front
garden into a parking space, so the number of trees get depleted. And then of course there's
vandalism of young trees, which can be reduced if a good solid barrier is putting around the
young tree.

Also when there has been a storm and trees fall, as recently happened with the tornado in
Kensal Rise, where I live, those big old trees don't get replaced.

I don't think councils are necessarily to blame, because when the residents of my street sent
a petition to brent council asking for more trees, they duly came and planted some little

Perhaps the public need reminding that tree lined streets make an area more attractive, help
to counteract the effects of pollution and add value to property.


Julian Adams


Dear Richard & Veronica

This is a subject close to my heart as I was responsible 30 years ago for getting many trees
planted in my neighbourhood streets, most of which have survived, and we have had
replacements for those that died or been vandalised (not a lot).

But I want to draw to your attention another aspect which threatens street trees. This is the
insane practise of the Bellenden Housing Renewal Scheme which encouraged everyone to
have their small front gardens paved over (not for cars but for no apparent reason) when
they were doing the facelifts of about 13 streets. I drew attention to this
in the paper I gave in evidence to the Scrutiny of the Bellenden Renewal Scheme in 2005.
This is an extract from that paper:
Concreting over gardens.
Most of the front gardens were covered over with paving. It is ironic that the Renewal
Scheme Mid-Term-Review (MTR) reports that "the condition of front gardens improved
considerably" when it seems that they mostly disappeared. There seemed to be an
encouragement to go for paving and even some of those who had said they wanted to keep
their soil had paving laid before they could stop it. Recently in a very heavy rain storm the
pavement in my street was a few inches deep in water in just five minutes - it was quite a
mini flood with the water pouring down the front paths into the street. That is until I got to
my own house where the soil was retained, and there was hardly any water running off into
the street. It was a graphic example of the way in which concreting over front gardens is
harmful in terms of flooding as all this water was having to be fed through into the drains
and into rivers instead of running off into the land where it fell. I hope that the Scrutiny
Committee will look into this and recommend that all regeneration schemes in future
include guidance to minimise this loss of
run-off for rainwater.

This process means of course that the rain water is not falling into the ground where the
street trees are, and not only contributing to flooding, but also drying the ground where
street trees are. This point about front gardens and rain water was not picked up in the
Scrutiny recommendations, and ignored as far as I can see by the Council. I think
that there needs to be something done to bring it to the forefront of the Council's attention
and all schemes to renew or regenerate areas have an injunction not to allow front gardens
however small to be paved over.

What do you think?
Eileen Conn
Bellenden Residents' Group


Dear Richard,

In connection with the investigation into the loss of street trees, I can tell you about the
gradual loss of many trees in my street - Lucas Avenue, in Rayners Lane, Harrow.

In the last bout of bad weather, we lost a tree blown down by the wind, and although I
wonder if the roots had been damaged when cables were laid some years ago, I suppose this
cannot be called anything other than a natural loss.

However, this was not the case in 2003, when a beautiful flowering cherry outside our home
was felled. I believe this was as a result of the people next door complaining because they
wanted to pave their front garden and have a crossover from the street to enable them to
park their car. I did contact the council and wrote to our councillors, and I attach one of the
letters I sent as an example.

I have received differing responses explaining why the tree was cut down; it was diseased,
the roots were damaging the drains, the roots were damaging the wall outside my house (I
certainly made no complaint about it) and so on. Because of this, I do not believe that it was
done for any reason except my neighbour made a complaint and wanted his paving done. Of
course there is no way of proving this to be the case.

More to the point, one of the councillors, Joyce Nickolay, told me that the tree would be
replaced. As I write there has been no move to replace it.

Similarly, a number of beautiful trees in the grounds of the flats at the top of our road, in
Alexandra Avenue, were felled last summer, presumably to avoid the cost of pruning them.
I assume that as they were on private ground the council did not initiate this, but on one
occasion I spoke to someone in the street, who was looking at the trees; he said he was from
the council and told me that they had now prevented the owners from felling any more trees
by putting a preservation order on them. When I mentioned our tree being felled he
seemed to know about it and gave me yet another explanation of why it had been felled. He,
too, said that more trees would be replanted in the winter but this has not been done.

I do hope you can do something to prevent this mayhem and wilful destruction of the green
environment. It is ironic that so many 'avenues' are being stripped of their trees and if there
is anything we can do to reverse the trend towards concrete and paving no one would be

My address is 8, Lucas Avenue, Harrow, HA2 9UJ.


Lesley Smith



Nearly six years ago I moved into a tree-lined road in Leytonstone (Malvern Road). The
one thing that attracted me to the house was the fact the road was so full of trees. It
certainly wasn't the house which was a complete wreck and an obvious money-pit!

Trees are the lungs of the city. They bring beautiful hope and expectation when you see the
first leaves breaking through in the spring. In the summer, they provide shade. And all the
time, they improve the air.

The one thing that drives me to distraction is the fact that Waltham Forest Council seem
oblivious to the correct time to pollard trees. When trees are pollarded they are ugly. I
would personally prefer the road to be allowed to form a natural canopy of branches. Last
year, the council managed to start the pollarding about early June, did the next third in late
August, finishing off in the autumn. They made a beautiful road look like a tree massacre
scene for the entire summer.

Pollarding should be carried out in Jan/Feb for these trees (f it has to be done). They
obviously want to rip off all the leaves and branches before leaves fall which they have to
clear up. It really worries me that at some stage in the future, I will come home to find the
trees have been felled as it makes it easier for them.

I would personally like to see City Hall take a stronger point of view on street trees. I would
like to see all councils have to apply before they are even allowed to touch a tree. There
should also be a London-wide policy on how the trees should be allowed to grow. As I said,
my preferred option would be for canopied streets formed out of the branches, allowing the
trees to flourish.

We live in a city that is heavily polluted, but the air is getting better all the time. Imagine
how much better it could be if City Hall ensured that all the trees were allowed to grow
properly, and could get on with the job of absorbing pollution and improving the air.

And for the record, last year when I completely re-did my garden, I planted two silver birch
trees of my own - that the council can't pollard!

Kind regards

Gwyn Calley


Dear Mr Johnson

I was delighted to hear of your investigation into the loss of street trees in london. Here in
Magdalen Road, SW18 we have have suffered the rapid and totally unecessary felling of
seven 100 year old trees, I attach the details. I will of course be attending the meeting at
City Hall on the 8th March, and would be most grateful for any information you can send

Best regards

Ged Gardiner


The Situation - Seven fine mature plane trees fronting Magdalen Park Tennis Club were
felled by Wandsworth Council with only a few hours warning.

The Questions –

Why were the trees felled?
Roots from the trees were emerging in the tennis courts.
The Council were threatened with legal action by the tennis club because of this, and claim that felling
was the only the course which could be 100% effective.
The Council has an annual budget per street tree of about £ 15, obviously this is
inadequate, and in this case their policy seems to have been to neglect the trees until an
emergency, when felling takes place. Given their situation and size, the trees should have
been pruned regularly to restrict the size of the tree, obviously the smaller the tree, and the
smaller the demand upon the root system. It should be noted that Mr Jerry Birtles the
Council‟s “tree expert” does not agree with this. It should also be noted that this was not a
new and sudden situation, there had been an earlier claim by the tennis club in 1996, and the
current claim was made in 2004.

Why with such short notice?
The Council are unable to offer a reason as to why the trees had to be cut down at such
short notice other than the threat of legal action.
It should be noted that the trees were cut down in late November; they would have
been winter dormant until March and posed no further threat of damage until then. It
must be assumed that such hurried action was taken to forestall residents’ action to
campaign to save the trees. The cost of installing root barriers is stated by the
Council to be £ 100,000, in the light of this cost on the council’s budget, the hurried
felling must be seen as a cost-cutting exercise.

Why without consultation?
The Council state that they are not obliged to consult with residents of such matters
as it is akin to road surfacing.
This is certainly not a basic functional matter “akin to road surfacing” in the past the
Council has consulted residents on matters such as parking and the installation of traffic
management. This is an important amenity issue; not only is there an emotional attachment
to 100 year old trees, but they also have an important environmental function in absorbing

C02, shading the road and foot path, softening traffic and aircraft noise as well as masking
the harsh industrial look of the fencing, chain mesh and floodlights of the tennis courts.

Why without a second opinion?
The council claims to have consulted with “other councils” over this matter, especially Westminster.
Westminster is not known to have any open-air tennis courts fronted by street trees. It
must be assumed that the council failed to consult independent experts for reasons of cost.

It would seem that the council‟s hasty and unnecessary action was taken for reasons of cost
and it is more than likely that the situation arose because of the council‟s failure to properly
manage the trees in the past, again because of cost. This is particularly indefensible given
that a claim was made in 1996 and the current claim is two years old. The arrogant and
parsimonious haste with which they acted has meant that alternative approaches have not
been considered; no doubt if residents had been consulted there would have been an
imperative to discover new courses of action; both practical and financial. There is a moral
issue here, the quality of the council‟s tree management policy is certainly in question, as is
their lack of democracy. But above all is the tragic loss of these fine, beautiful and indeed
innocent trees; the residents of Magdalen Road and all those who love trees are urged to act
now for their replacement. It is deeply ironic that only last week the Tree Council gave
Wandsworth Council a prestigious national award for the work it has done alongside the
local community in safeguarding and protecting the borough‟s trees.

Post- Script
Several concerned residents of Magdalen Road have clubbed together to engage an
independent tree consultant, Mr Derek Peach of the Arboricultural Advisory And
Information Service. His report has confirmed our suspicions- action could have been taken
to prevent the damage the trees were causing and thus to save the trees. It remains to be
seen whether the council will make amends by planting new trees, of course nothing they
can do will fill the gap made by the unnecessary felling of these fine trees.



I was interested to read this news items as last year I was concerned
about the number of large, mature trees cut down in my immediate
neighbourhood and the few that were replaced. This was in Riefield
Road and Colepits Wood Road, Eltham SE9 (the borough of Greenwich).

I know that vandalism is a problem, with youths breaking down
branches from small trees and the problem of watering them when we
have had severe droughts such as in the last few years but perhaps
asking for donations of slightly larger trees from local people, and
then asking residents to water the trees for the first year or two may help.

Seeing the blossom trees at this time of the year really gives a lift
to the spirits and it would be shame to allow them to dwindle even more.

I should be interested to hear the results of your investigation.

Lesley Corti

Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation

Thank you for your letter which reached us on 19 February.

Insurers recognise the valuable contribution Britain‟s 100 million urban trees make to the
environment of our cities and towns. In addition to providing a pleasant aspect and the
essential role they play in our cities‟ green spaces, trees help reduce the alienation that can
lead to anti-social behaviour and more serious malicious damage and property crime.

You ask specifically about the difficulties some trees can cause in dry summers, leading to
subsidence in nearby properties, It is certainly the case that many – perhaps the majority –
of subsidence cases are associated with one or more trees positioned too close to the
property. However, insurers are very conscious that only a small proportion of urban trees
result in such difficulties and have investigated the use of DNA testing as well as root
evacuations in order to establish which tree is causing the problem. We certainly do not
support wholesale removal of street trees. Instead we believe it is important to think
carefully about choice of species, positioning and pruning/management regimes when
planting street trees.

Looking ahead, climate change will mean that street trees will be even more valuable in
future, but we need to plan carefully so as to benefit from summer shading while avoiding
subsidence and tree loss during the increasingly likely droughts of the future. We feel this is
an area that needs careful research and strategic planning.

Stephen Hadrill
Director General, Association of British Insurers


To Richard Davies:
I have received a notification from the London Forum about your meeting; Although not
able to attend that day, you might be interested in the following two points perhaps?
Firstly, in the LB Camden planning office (where I was head of design and policy, leaving in
1988 to return to my private practice) we organised the annual planting of some 600-700
trees in the streets of the Borough, and this continued unbroken for about 15 years (roughly
1970+ to the mid 1980‟s);
The total number planted during this time was about 10,000.
The result was that the stock of street trees went up from about 15,000 when we started to
about 25,000.
Great credit must go to the small number of local Councillors (both main parties) who
consistently voted the required funds for this planting work, often in times when the
budgets were being tightened.
The process essentially was that there was a dedicated member of the planning staff (Frank
Cremer by name) who organised the finding of the sites (not easy in congested urban streets
with their U/G services) which he did by getting an input from the planning staff who
knew parts of the Borough very well of course; he selected appropriate varieties (for the size
of the street, for local interest etc); he personally ordered the trees by visiting 2 or 3 big
nurseries in the preceding summer, and actually selected the individual standing trees for
And when the (dormant) planting season came round he organised the electro–surveys of
the underground services (vital if one is to be responsible and protect the operatives who
have to dig the holes); and then linked up with the Council‟s Works Dept that got the
contractors to take the delivered trees into stock, and then bring them to the particular sites
for planting.
Because of the sometimes difficult site conditions, we always selected 25% more sites than
we had trees, as some would be found to be too difficult when the U/G services were
plotted, so in those cases we left things as they were.
We selected heavy nursery stock, being the best balance between being robust enough to
deter the vandals, able to grow on well (far better value than the semi-mature) and cost;
The system was essentially fairly cheap, and we accepted that bowser watering in the first
summer would be as much “maintenance” as the new trees would ever get; so we usually
lost no more than 10%: but this was a cheaper option than putting in place a massive after-
care programme; and dead trees are always brought to the attention of the planning office
by local residents, and when we go next year to lift it out and replace it, everyone is happy.
I would commend this simple approach geared to actually planting, not to having meetings.
The second point is quite different. It is the “Tree Years” approach.
When we deal with planning applications, on many sites there are existing trees & many are
being cut down (for a whole variety of reasons, mainly because of the lesser amount of new
built-over area compared to the open gardens etc of the present site).
The planning office usually presses for replacement trees on the new development, but
nearly always the new trees are not as big as those that have been lost. And anyway, a new
development may simply not be able to accommodate the same number of trees as was
originally on the site. The result is that the tree stock is being constantly depleted.
One approach which I think should be tried is to adopt the “Tree Years” policy in the local
plan; the ages of the trees on site would be added together, and the new development should
provide the equivalent plus say 10%; (as an example, say 6 existing trees with a combined
age of say 250 years; normal replacement say 3 trees each 10 years old; result is a shortfall
250 – 30 = 220 tree years); the applicant would then provide the funding to plant the
remaining 220 plus 10% years “worth” of trees on other sites in the locality; which might in
this example come out at say 25 trees or so; not actually a big expense.

These would be planted either in the streets of the Borough, or on land identified as suitable
for establishing a new wood.
Hope these thoughts might be helpful, and best wishes with your meeting.
Tony Michael


Dear Richard,
My name is Gareth Watkins; I am the tree representative for the Maze (West) Residents
Association In Tottenham. We are concerned about the plight of the trees in our streets and
have decided to take action. Our association covers an area north of Philip Lane in N17
I found your questions on the Website and have tried to answer some of them below:
     Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what
        is the impact of this loss?
We did an audit of the trees in the area; there were 117 existing trees and 112 missing trees
(the missing trees were estimated on a '1 tree every 25 yards basis').
This part of London can seem rather bleak - there are too many dwellings crammed into a
small area, the roads are dirty, fly tipping is common, the architecture is in poor repair, the
modern buildings are utilitarian and ugly, the high road is blighted by garish kebab shop
signs and burnt out buildings.
In the summer, when the leaves come out, the streets that still have plenty of trees are
transformed and become a more uplifting place to be. Such a simple pleasure can transform
the lives of people...especially those who live in an area which, according to a recent survey
in the Evening Standard, has the lowest average income in London.
Its really such a cheap way of turning an ugly area into a pleasant place to be.
     What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
We as a community need to take more care of our trees, we are having a meeting with the
tree department in Haringey in March to find out if some of our missing trees can be
replanted. We will suggest that more mature trees be planted so that they are less easily
vandalised. We are going to suggest a three year replanting programme. As of yet, we dont
know what Haringey's tree budget is (any ideas?) or what their policies are.
We are going to support the tree planting programme with an information campaign to let
people know what's happening; why the trees are beneficial; who to call if they witness any
vandalism etc.
The trees are generally missing because Haringey haven't planted enough; old ones have
been removed and have not been replaced; children have vandalised smaller trees; adults
have vandalised trees because they dont want birds to dirty their cars or they are worried
about roots under the house.
I hope this is of use to you. We would appreciate any information or support you can lend
Yours sincerely,
Gareth Watkins


Dear Richard Davies

The experience of Bexley has been acceptable. Members of Bexley Civic
Society complained at the loss of street trees. We had the officer
responsible to our AGM three years ago. He explained the planning. Many trees had been
planted when the 1930s housing produced many tree lined roads. The life of many of these

trees was now coming to an end. Replanting was carried out where possible but over the
years there have been cables laid and lampposts and other street stuff placed so that new
trees cannot be planted just where the old one were. There is also a scheme whereby
residents can buy trees for their street and have a personal interest in them. This
explanation was generally accepted but some expressed doubt over the competence of the
contractors. Street trees seem no longer to be an issue in Bexley.

John Mercer
Bexley Civic Society


Dear Mr Johnson,

I watched the article on trees, shown on the BBC last night, with
interest, and thought I would send you some of my personal experiences:

I am currently involved in trying to protect the street trees on
Ruislip High Street (London Borough of Hillingdon) from an over-
enthusiastic (with a chain-saw) council.

The High Street is currently undergoing a £750,000 refurbishment,
courtesy of TfL. As part of this the road was to be widened by three
to six inches which meant that almost all the trees on the High
Street had to be cut down (30 trees). I protested and have been able
to save a couple of trees by pointing out that there was no point in
widening the road at a pedestrian crossing, as the effective width,
when taking parked cars into consideration, was already much wider
than the rest of the street.

I have spoken to my Councillor, who is being supportive, and am
hoping to be more closely involved in the next phase and make
suggestions that will save more trees. As you said in your interview
the Council is far too willing to use the chain-saw without looking
at other alternatives. It was only when I demanded to see the
engineering plans and went through them with the engineer that other
possible solutions were considered.

There is also an attitude that the wrong trees were planted
originally and so the solution is to cut them all down and plant new
ones. I have tried pointing out to the Council that in estate
management terms you would plant the new ones many years before you
cut down the others! These trees have been the wrong trees for
seventy years, I'm sure they can continue to be "the wrong trees" for
another fifteen or twenty years while we wait for new trees planted
today to reach a reasonable level of maturity. Unfortunately Councils
seem unable to take a long term view - they just work to this years

I would be very interested in taking part in any discussions on
street trees in London. I feel that trees should be a much more

important part of any civic planning, after all they give much of the
character to an area. I am particularly worried that so much of the
"de-forestation" is being funded by TfL. TfL are also responsible for
the massive tree loss along the suburban underground lines. Have you
seen West Harrow or Ruislip Manor stations recently - all the mature
trees have been cut down! At West Ruislip the argument was that they
needed access to rebuild the platform and they promised to replant
the trees. What they planted were the usual twigs on a pole. Having
been to a tree nursery I know that it is possible to purchase semi-
mature trees that would be a much more appropriate replacement for a
hundred year old tree.

I would like to attend the public meeting on March 8 and would be
grateful if you could email some details (times etc.).

I look forward to hearing from you,

Best wishes,

Graham Bartram
Ruislip, Middlesex



I have been a resident of Wandle Housing Association in SW16 for 17 years.
Last August, myself and a neighbour arranged an environmental survey by our Safer
Neighbourhood Team/Chair of St Leonard's Ward Panel/Crime Prevention
Officer/Housing Officer.
The purpose of this meeting was to ensure our estate (very small, not more than 25
residents) was not an environment for criminal activities etc, propose an action plan and
look at what could be done (by both residents and Wandle HA).
Several items were identified, including the TRIMMING of mature hedges and coppicing of
My Housing Officer instructed the gardening contractors to CUT DOWN the mature
hedges and trees. I have been sending emails to both my Housing Officer and her line
manager, the majority of the residents have completed a survey asking what is going to
done, there has been NO response from Wandle HA. She told the gardening contractor the
estate look tidier and easier to maintain !
From a mature, varied plants/trees we have been left with badly maintained communal
"green space". This act has added
no value to the environment and lessened our enjoyment of our estate.
In view of your segment on local news (yesterday), forth coming Committee Meeting on the
8th March, I'd appreciate your comments/feedback and suggestions on how to make our
landlord more responsible about this situation.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Ms Velda Lewis


Dear Mr Davies,

I am glad to know that the Environment Committee is looking at street trees. You mention
the loss of street trees, but there is another urgent problem - mutilation of trees by local
councils. In a number of places, such as Palace Road SW2 (near here), large trees such as
planes have been ruthlessly lopped: not only are the main trunks cut off abot 30 feet from
the ground, but every lateral shoot is also stripped away, leaving barren stumps against the
skyline. Last year this was done just when the trees should have been coming into leaf.

The year after this treatment, a mass of shoots grows from the ends of the stumps; the
shape of the tree is ruined, and it is left looking like a bunch of lavatory brushes. Then in
two or three years they will grow top-heavy and the process will be repeated.

In other places, lateral branches are allowed to grow about a foot long and then lopped, and
pollarded every year, so that knobs form on the ends, leaving the trees looking like

I accept that sometimes trees have to be reduced - possibly forest trees should not have been
planted in streets 100 years ago; but could you make sure that in future, trees which need
to be reduced are thinned in a way that preserves their shape? I believe the technical term

is 'formative reduction'. If a bough or a trunk is too long, at a point where it forks the
longer branch should be cut off flush (which facilitates healing), leaving the shorter one. In
some cases, where a tree has several trunks and causes too much shade, two or three of the
trunks can be removed altogether, allowing light to come through.

I hope you can prevent any more trees from being ruined in these ways, and perhaps
consideration given to planting more suitable urban trees in future. In the meantime, can
the GLA and/or boroughs find tree specialists for the more difficult task of trying to restore
some sort of tree-like shape to the trees?

yours sincerely,

Martin Wright


I'm writing with regard to your investigation into the number of street trees in London.
I live on the Lansbury Estate in Poplar, E14, which is one of the poorer areas of London. I
am chair of a group of residents working with an RSL (Polar Harca) on the regeneration of
our estate following its transfer from Tower Hamlets Council to Poplar Harca.
An issue that has arisen a number of times is the low number of street trees in our area
compared to other areas in London and this is something that we are very keen to improve
+ anything you can do to aid that will be much appreciated. From our experience there are
potential issues with trees blocking light etc, but these are very avoidable if residents are
engaged in the process as they bring key local knowledge and are committed to getting
these things right as they know that they will live with the consequences.
I would say that we have experienced a number of obstacles to increasing the trees in our

   1. Money. Deprived areas such as our have other priorities, even though trees could
      greatly enhance the area for relatively little cost.
   2. Coordination with Tower Hamlet Council. It does not feel that the Council are
      engaged with issues like this or willing to genuinely meet with residents and work
      with them. Many of the key sites for trees are on pavements for which the council is
      responsible. If the council do plant, it's likely to be without genuine consultation
      (and so in the wrong place); without suitable after care; and it's likely to be a London
      Plane (the only type of tree the Council seem to have heard of). In fairness, I should
      say that I believe that the Council have recently funded Trees for London who are
      working well with residents in this area and will be planting a number of trees on
      the estate in the next few months. Consequently, it may be that a way forwards is to
      fund organisation such as Trees for London rather than local councils.
   3. Low expectations. People do not expect things to change and so do not push for

By working with Poplar Harca and Trees for London, we are making some progress and
expect that a fair number of trees will be planted on and around the estate in the next few
years. However, it has been hard work, nothing happened until Poplar Harca took
responsibility for the estate and at the end of it we will still have a relatively low number of
trees in the area.

Simon Kempson


Dear Valerie

thank you for passing on my suggestions re. pigeon control to the Trafalgar Square
Management Team. As expected, their reply was that the Mayor wants to stick to his own
methods of pigeon clearance.

As an environmentally concerned London citizen (with a German connection) I'd like to
bring to your attention another matter.

It's the advancing attack on horse chestnut trees by leaf miner moths, that has swept across
the whole of Europe, having originated somewhere in the Balkans. It kills the leaves of the
tree prematurely and threatens to destroy horse chestnut trees in Britain on a comparable
scale to Dutch Elms disease.

The damage is already noticeable all over London, but research into methods to combat this
parasite in this country hasn't got further than the monitoring stage yet. It is far more
advanced in Germany, however, where the parasite has arrived several years earlier.

I have attached a link (below) to a website about the research and measures that are being
carried out in Berlin where trees are dying already. Hopefully your German speaking PA
will be able to translate for you.

If it was possible to tap into the results of German research at the earliest possible stage,
there may be a better chance to fight the leaf miner moths before they the damage becomes

I hope urban trees are part of your remit. If not, I'd be grateful if you would pass on my
suggestions to the relevant committee or person(s).

Kind regards,

Andrea Höfling


Dear Mr. Davies,

I am extremely interested in the investigation to be undertaken by the Environmental
Committee on March 8th, 2007 at the City Hall concerning the planting of trees by London
Borough Councils.

The reason for my interest is that I am a victim of a Rowan tree which was planted by
Croydon Council within 2 metres of my garden wall, the roots of which have caused gradual
movement of the foundation therefore making large cracks to appear condemning the wall
unsafe. I lodged a claim with the Council on Sept. lst, 2006 which is still ongoing.

The point I wish to make is that consideration must be taken into account at this meeting to
ensure that the planting of trees, no matter how pretty they look, should not be planted so
close to private property, which in my case has caused me several months of stress and will
involve great expense to repair a damaged wall through no fault of my own.

I attach a photograph of the rogue Rowan tree.

Yours sincerely,

Kathleen Gibb (Mrs.)


Dear Richard,

Your invitation was broadcast and I hope a few of our community groups will be present.

It may be useful if I have the chance at the meeting to make the following point about the
loss of street trees and poor shaping and control of them.

The topic has been of concern to the Bedford Park Society in Chiswick which has had a
survey of its conservation area's street trees conducted by Tony Kirkham, the chief
arboriculturist at Kew Gardens. His conclusions are that the two Councils covering this
area have not been performing tree maintenance at suitable intervals, nor to BSI
standards. The sub-contracting by local authorities of the task to various organisations
may have contributed to the problem, as the people who are going to perform the work
usually decide when maintenance will be performed and in what way. Some Councils may
lack the expertise to audit the work done.


Peter Eversden


Dear Sir,
I have attached a lecture I attended just over a year ago covering issues of subsidenceand a
section on trees. I thought the contents and the reference page might be ofparticular
importance to the event to be held on the 8th March.In light of the predicted climatic
changes of wetter winters and warmer summers there isan argument that trees offer an
invaluable tool for addressing the increased potential in pore water pressure variation and
the scale of subsidence and heave over seasonal changes. It is further worth debating the
liability for damage caused by removing a tree and creating a permanent heave where
previously a more moderate amount of
variations would have occurred. Although speculation, I would suggest it is worth
investigating the ability to use tree pruning as a ground water control, as well a localised
root catchment area as a SUD (Sustainable Urban Drainage) System.

Kind regards,

Adam Dawson
Residential Projects, DJ Sustainability


Dear Darren.

With all the massive development going on around particularly around Stratford I have
been concerned about how much "green" is going to be left in the area.

I think a they early adoption of a unified planting scheme for London would help.
The traditional London Plane trees are impractical in todays densely crowded urban
landscape. They also cause a lot of respiratory distress through the high pollen count when
they all flower at the same time in late spring.

To its credit Newham Council here in Stratford has been planting more trees however they
are not appropriate varieties for the locations they have been planted in.
Numerous Magnolia grandiflora trees have appeared in our local streets. These
are beautiful trees but their broad evergreen leaves & weak trunks make them prone to
wind-damage, which is why gardeners usually plant them against walls.
The broad evergreen leaves will soon start to obscure the street lighting & interfere with
telephone cables.

I think the planting of fastigiate (columnar) trees would be more suitable for the urban

See the following link.

Tall columnar trees like Lombardy Poplars, would compliment all the tall buildings going
up here in Stratford & the rest of London.
Columnar trees interfere less with street lighting & telephone cables whilst at the same time
buffering downdrafts from tall buildings & letting the sunshine through making the place
feel warmer.

Columnar trees could be planted more densely resulting in more carbon offsetting &
helping to damp down the effects of flash storms.

Perhaps the Green Party members in London Assembly could be instrumental in the
drawing up an advisory list of trees most suitable for different locations.

Yours sincerely Chris Mullett


Following the email correspondence below, I asked for more info from a woman
who lives near a large healthy tree (don't know what type) which was
recently felled in Tilehurst Road Wandsworth. I was told that the tree was
'causing problems' ie breaking up the pavement and damaging nearby house
driveways, also cars were 'bumping into it' because it was "too near the
road" (An extremely small part of the base of the trunk was right next to
the kerb but I can't see why vehicles would bump into it). The final straw
came when there was a gas leak in a nearby house and tree roots were found
around a gas pipe (no confirmation that the roots came from that particular
tree though). The stump has not been removed probably because Wandsworth
have spent all their tree budget for this financial year.

A second, smaller tree nearby was probably felled because it looked a bit
rotten at the base. What concerns me is that there is so much tree root
damage around, where do councils draw the line when it comes to felling? I
guess as soon as legal action is threatened they send the choppers along.

Diane Rippon


                       Northumberland Heath Community Forum's
                            Re-greening the Heath proposals
                                        and the
                       Tree and Woodland Framework for London

The locality
Northumberland Heath is a ward in the north of the borough of Bexley that is in part of the
western area of development known as the Thames Gateway. It is an area (including Erith
to the north, Slade Green to the north east and Belvedere to the north west) that is seeing
considerable population growth and development pressure.

The issue
There is an avenue of trees down the high street that has visually defined the Heath which
helps provide a sense of place and character to Northumberland Heath. However over the
past three decades trees have been lost and not replaced.

(The avenue would also provide a line of trees covering much of the distance between
Bursted Woods and Barnehurst golf course to the south, and the Erith-Dartford railway
line to the north that links with the Erith ands Dartford marshes.)

The Forum
The Northumberland Heath Community Forum was established in 2004/5 to provide a
means for local community stakeholders and residents to raise issues and identify local
priorities to service providers and the Council.

Re-greening part of an overall, locally determined, community strategy
Part of its over-arching priority is to develop a strategy to develop the community as 'the
village on the Heath' (even though the Heath is part of suburbia). Within this, the Forum
wishes to see the historic avenue trees down its high street restored. This wish has been
affirmed by unanimous vote on two separate meetings of its committee and overwhelming
(near unanimous) vote at two separate public AGMs. A survey of traders along the high
street showed near unanimous (one exception) support in principle for the idea of re-
greening the avenue.

Lack of engagement with those putting policy into practice
However it has so far proven impossible to get the Council to explore this wish. Letters
from the Forum Chair have been effectively ignored and even the Heath's three Councillors
have had difficulty. Most recently, as a near last resort, a complaint was made by the
Forum's Chair to the Leader of the Council. There is now the possibility that the staff
member responsible for borough trees may meet with Forum representatives and one of the
Heath's Council to explain what is (not) happening.

    How the Tree and Woodland Framework for London relates to Northumberland
      Heath Community Forum's Re-greening the Heath proposals
      Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation: Summary Evidence from the
       Northumberland Heath Community Forum
      Timeline -- Re-Greening Northumberland Heath Key Events Regarding Council

                                           How the
                          Tree and Woodland Framework for London
                                         March 2005
                    relates to Northumberland Heath Community Forum's
                                Re-greening the Heath proposals

The Thames Gateway is considered to be a major opportunity. The
Strategy calls for development in this location to be of high quality to
enhance the character and prospects of the Gateway.
                                                                                     page 15
Northumberland Heath is within the Thames Gateway area of development

This Framework suggests the following indicators should also be considered
for measuring the protection and quality of the existing trees and woodlands:
 ….• number of street trees planted annually.
                                                                                      page 19
Northumberland Heath has seen trees be removed and not replaced from its high street
avenue (and other streets) that used to be a strong visual marker of the Heath providing a
sense of place and characteristic since the Heath was first developed at the beginning of the
20th century.

key aims for trees and woodlands in London
B. To help shape the built environment and new development in a way
that strengthens the positive character and diversity of London.
                                                                                    page 21
The Northumberland Heaths avenue of tree softens the development that has taken place
throughout most of the 20th century. The Heath's population has nearly doubled since the
1970s and this population increase is set to continue over the next decade with the
development of the Thames Gateway communities.

• Tree cover history: check historical records to see if the site is in an
area where there have been trees in the past, to establish whether
the creation of new woodland or tree cover would be appropriate.
                                                                                page 32
The avenue of trees defining Northumberland Heath has been recorded in photographs
taken early in the 20th century.

• Infrastructure: consider existing and future infrastructure
requirements – do not plant too close to over/underground
infrastructure. Replace removed trees in the same pit if appropriate.
                                                                                   page 32
Many trees in the avenue that defines Northumberland Heath's high street have been
removed and not replaced. Indeed no tree has been replaced here since the early 1980s.

Aim B… to help shape the built environment and new development
                                                                                    page 33
The area around Northumberland Heath and the Heath itself is seeing population increase
due to Thames Gateway related development. The Northumberland Heath Community
Forum has a range of goals encapsulated in the phrase 'making Northumberland Heath the
Village on the Heath'. The Forum would like to see the Heath increase its sense of
community and identity and sees enhancing its visual character as part of this. The
alternative visually is to see concrete and tarmac define the Heath.

                     Loss of Street Trees in London Investigation
                                Summary Evidence from
                      the Northumberland Heath Community Forum

          Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and
           what is the impact of this loss?
           Yes, the reasons given are that there is not enough width of pavement and that
           new cabling has undermined existing trees. The Forum finds this less than
           satisfactory as we thought that cablers had to give due regard to the location of
           trees, that the Council maintained plans of their locations, and that the width of
           pavement is ample for wheelchairs (the local complaints from wheelchair users at
           the Forum have actually related to parking near crossings obstructing low-level
           view -- not one complaint has been received about lack of ability to navigate the
           pavement around trees.

          What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types
           have proved most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of
           trees will need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate
           No trees have been planted to replace these trees.

          What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
           The avenue of trees that visually defined the Heath are being lost. The
           community has voted at public meetings to conserve this avenue. A survey of
           the traders on the high street through the Heath revealed that the vast majority
           (all but one surveyed) were in principle in favour of restoring the avenue of trees.
           It is perceived that restoring the avenue of trees would make the Heath more
           pleasant to live and shop.

          What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
           We have not had any dialogue with Bexley Council's staff on this (though our
           Councillors have taken an interest in the Forum's ideas on re-greening). There
           appears to be a lack of willingness by the appropriate Council staff) to engage in
           meaningful dialogue with the Northumberland Heath Community Forum and
           indeed the Heath's three Councillors have also experienced this reluctance. (It
           should be noted that the Forum has a good working relationship with many
           other members of the Council staff relating to other issues.)

                   How are the Mayor‟s policies regarding street trees taken into account when
                    planning developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
                    In our part of Thames Gateway (Northumberland Heath) the Mayor's policies do
                    not appear to have any effect.

                   How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the
                    protection, maintenance and management of London‟s street trees?
                    See above.

                   What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
                    The policy appears fine and we provide a separate summary report as to how
                    they fit in with the Northumberland Heath Community Forum's aspirations
                    regarding the avenue of trees in its high street. The problem is in actually
                    ensuring that the policy is taken seriously with a view to actual implementation.
                    (It should be noted that the Forum's Re-greening proposals are in line with the
                    borough's own Tree Strategy and so it is not just the London Tree and
                    Woodland policies that appear to be ineffective with regards to trees in
                    Northumberland Heath.)
                                                                                               March 2007
                                    Re-Greening Northumberland Heath
                                 Key Events Regarding Council Engagement

March 2007          A North Heath Councillor is informed that a meeting may be possible with the
                    Council staff responsible for trees, the Forum and himself.

January 2007        Forum Chair writes to Leader of Council Regarding problems with Council department
                    responsible for trees.
Nov 14th 2006       Forum's Executive Committee notes continued lack of engagement by Council
                    Department to address this matter and that, save for a single meeting in January, has
                    not had any meaningful contact from this Department for nearly two years. As such it
                    votes for a letter complaint be submitted.
Sept 21st 2006      Community Forum's public meeting AGM vote affirms the Forum should continue with
                    its campaign to restore the avenue of trees through the Heath.
September 2006 Northumberland Heath's three Councillors jointly write to Council department
               responsible for trees. (The Councillors received no reply received as of January 2007.)
Jan 25th 2006       Jonathan Cowie, Forum's representative of its Environment Sub-Group meets with
                    Graham Mollison of Bexley Council on site. It is noted that not all trees lost in past
                    three decades can be replanted due to changes in legislation. That in some instances
                    permission will be needed from land-owners if trees are planted on the borders of land
                    owned by land-owners. Forum rep notes that land-owners have already been preliminary
                    surveyed (by the Forum) and are nearly all (one exception), in principle, in favour of tree re-
                    planting. The Forum can play a role in liaising with land-owners for the Council.
                    Bexley Council's representative also noted that for those few trees that need to be re-
                    sited completely on land owned by private land-owners that Bexley Council cannot pay

                 for re-planting out of ratepayer funds. Forum rep notes that the Forum has an
                 independent finance and is in a position to seek funding where the Council is legally
                 prevented from funding out of rate-payer resources if Council can say how much it
                 needs to cover costs to undertake this work. It was agreed that a plan would need to be
                 developed for this venture that would take time to implement, but first this plan needs
                 to be developed. However since then there has been no further communication from
                 the Council.
January 2006     Community worker makes informal follow-up enquiries. This leads to a meeting later
                 in the month (see above).
Oct 10th 2005    Cllr O'Neill verbally informs that the follow-up letter (Sept 15th below) has been passed
                 to Council Dept responsible for trees for reply. (No written reply received.)
Sept 15th 2005   Jonathan Cowie writes follow-up letter to Cllr's Bryant and O'Neill.
Summer 2005      Forum begins to consolidate its long-term vision for a 'village on the Heath' and the
                 restoration of the main street's avenue of trees as one part of this vision. Forum's
                 summer meeting affirms Forum should engage with Council.
June 15th 2005   Michael Harvey (then current Forum Chair) writes to Cllr Bryant informing of the
                 Forum's meeting decision (below). (This letter has never been replied to nor has its
                 receipt been acknowledged.)
June 13th 2005   Report presented from the Forum's Environment representative on how restoring the
                 Bexley Road avenue of trees fits in with the Council's Trees and Woodland Strategy,
                 Agenda 21 as well as Governmental regeneration goals. Social and ecological benefits
                 are also noted. Report also notes that further street tree planting on the Heath (though
                 desired) may be limited.

Mar 14th 2005    Vote taken at Forum's public-held AGM to pursue the restoration of trees on the Heath.
Autumn 2004      Forum pre-cursor calls for a volunteer to investigate the planting more trees on the

Trees of London Consultation by Landscape Planning Ltd
Author: Mr Les Round
March 2007

Has there been a loss of street trees in London? If so, what are the reasons and what
is the impact of this loss?
Real losses come from:
Infrastructure maintenance and improvements
Utility activities
Highway road salting
Poor implementation and maintenance of new plantings, e.g. it is very common to see dozens newly
planted trees damaged by strimming operations.
Subsidence is not a major issue but it does take up a lot of headlines. The statement adjacent is
misleading. The real issue here is that it is the lack of practical and technical experience within local
authorities, and to some extent in central government, resulting in protracted delays (particularly
concerning protected trees) and expensive engineering works to rectify a subsidence problem when
a few hundred pounds to remove a tree would have been the most sustainable decision.
Data on numbers of trees lost though all the various causes could be obtained, but to be of value for
decision making the information needs to be viewed spatially if it is to be of value at the level of
Greater London. Loading this data into GIS systems would be expensive, a cheaper alternative
would be through a web based open access GIS with a simple programme for displaying data by post
The loss is as impacts at many levels, from that of the individual garden or part of a street to the
increase in the heat island affect in cities due to the larger scale impacts on climate that occurs due to
increased heat energy reaching the ground when trees are lost. All affect the quality of life, loss of
biodiversity and the economics of individuals and communities.
It would be wrong to infer that household insurance policies are driving tree removal. These policies
offer a myriad of benefits and safety nets to ordinary people in London and without which the nature
and state of our relationship with each other would be very different. It is governance issue at local
authority level allied to a lack of primary data and research that has led to knee jerk responses
leading to loss of trees. Council need to place street trees fully within the wider landscape character
issues if the right decisions are made, there are many examples of this being successfully carried out
in London and efforts to produce Beacon and benchmark areas might prove productive.
3, 4, 10, 16 & 23

What types of trees have been planted to replace street trees and which types have
proved most suitable for London's street environment? Which types of trees will
need to be planted in the future to mitigate any effects from climate change?
In general there is no consistent strategy for selection and plantings tend to follow fashions,
this is not new it has been the case since street plantings first began, This can be seen in
today‟s streets:
From the early 1900s to the late 1950s it was large tree species that where used and this is
the legacy of Lime, London Plane, Maple, Beech etc. that provide the main impact of the
street tree cover in London.
In the early 1960s there was a fashion to plant small ornamental species such as Cherry,
Thorn and Pear, many of these have already been lost or are now near to their sell by date.
These can make up to 30% of the street tree population within any Borough.
From the late 1970s the fashion changed to planting trees with „selected forms‟ mainly
upright growing forms. Unfortunately many of these had poor structures, various clones of
Ash, Maple, Lime, London Plane or those which when young appeared to have narrow
canopies but as they matured developed large canopies, e.g. Fastigiated Hornbeam
Some Borough‟s have ignored these fashions and have continued planting the larger tree
species. However, through knee jerk reactions to problems such as subsidence or storm
failures some authorities have turned to heavy pruning/pollarding practices. Apart from the
fact that does not actually reduce the risk of subsidence and is therefore wasting resources,
it also can lead to reduced tree life expectancy and increased risk of branch failures in future
What is needed is a re-evaluation of the function of street trees and what is the most cost
effective management suitable for that function in a particular streetscape. Until the
management of street trees is seen as a function of landscape management the current
piecemeal approach will continue.
10 + our own data from projects

What are the social, environmental and economic benefits of street trees?
The benefits of green spaces with diverse structure are well documented and The Mayor‟s
own Strategy reflects this. This is reinforced by a number of previous publications and
studies, from Ian L. McHarg‟s Design with Nature in 1967 to Greening the City DOE 1996,
the latter listed 19 specific reasons why greening had specific value for Socio-economics of
cities. Ian McHarg‟s work looked at the benefits of having green diverse landscape character
and how this improved, health, social conduct and the economics of run down areas. But
why has nothing changed?
The issue is not that of „not knowing what to do‟ but „lack of strategy‟ not just in spatial
planning but in Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEAs) and simple things such as, not
being unable to carry over capital funds from one year to the next, lack of coordination
between Council Departments, key technical staff being tied up with non-productive
meetings and paper work.
The science is known, we do not need more studies.

1, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 23
What best practice exists in the management of street trees?
There are many papers and studies listed in the appendix to this report, but in summary the
key issues are those of setting standards of Best Practice and then putting place the
incentives to put the those Good Practices in place, e.g. the Planning Delivery Grant is an
example of such a policy and the solution to proper joined up management of London‟s trees
and woodlands is such as approach.
Look at the standards reached in the Corporation of London‟s Parks and open spaces,
compared to the open spaces/woodlands in adjacent local authorities. It is not uncommon to
see high quality open space right next to low quality open space purely because of budget
allocation by two adjacent authorities.
The recent study by DCLG Trees in Towns 2 gave 12 case studies on various aspects Local
Authority Tree Management, but few authorities have taken any notice of the study because
there is no real incentive. London could be the leader in putting together a co-ordinated
approach, with policy, Best Practice and an incentive scheme for trees.
4, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16, 18 & 22

How are the Mayor’s policies regarding street trees taken into account when planning
developments, such as the Thames Gateway?
There are a number of problems but the two main ones are thinking of tree cover at a
regional scale and then need for an enforcement of environmental policy in regard to trees
and landscape generally.
Spatial planning of the tree and woodland cover of the Thames Gateway needs to consider
not just the immediate area of the Gateway but also all the possible linkages that could be
made with adjacent areas. The Green Corridor concept is not new and certainly has been
reasonable effective along the M4 corridor but even there it is limited in impact.
Enforcement is the Cinderella of the Planning System, it does not matter what Best Practice
is written or incorporated into planning consents if the Enforcement powers available to
local authorities is not used or if it is used, used effectively.
It is possible to travel within a mile radius of any Council office in the country to find
development sites that have no protection for important landscape trees. This is coupled
with there being no national approach to identification of important landscapes in urban
This is a failure across all of planning enforcement but it even more of an issue for
landscape. This failure to enforce is affecting not just today‟s landscape but also tomorrows.
We challenge any London Authority to allow us access to their planning files and we will
randomly pick 25 sites that have tree and landscape conditions associated with them and
then go out and look what actual is in place on the ground. We consider that if we find more
than 5 sites with actual agreed schemes in place that will be a good standard.


How effective has the Tree and Woodland Framework been regarding the protection,
maintenance and management of London’s street trees?
The Tree and Woodland Framework is in itself not preventing:
The loss of tree directly or indirectly due to lack of enforcement of planning conditions, to
protect existing or to ensure that new plantings establish
The loss of trees immediately or in the medium to long-term, due to poorly thought-out
infrastructure maintenance, restoration or new build
Felling of street trees as part of a reactive programme to complaints or to reduce the cost of
highway maintenance
The loss of trees due to pollution and/or soil compaction
The reason it does not achieve this, is down mostly to technical awareness and lack of
dedicated enforcement policy, funding and incentives. Trees will continue to be lost or even
worse never grow to become the future landscape if these areas are not made a priority, see
comments on question 4 above.

What improvements, if any, could be made to policies regarding street trees?
This question is rather restrictive in limiting policy change to street trees, a policy change
needs to be made in regard to trees on development or affected by development at all levels,
national regional and local.
There is a European Landscape Convention that that UK has ratified this year, but there
appears to be no intention to embed this into the planning system.
The Mayor‟s Strategy rightly identifies the government policies and the various Planning
Policy documents relating to quality of environment. While there „identify‟ landscape etc.
has being crucial/important they are secondary to the main thrust of the various
What is needed is for landscape to have its own Planning Policy Guidance/Statement. How
will this change anything you ask? History is very good at showing what works and this
issue is no exception. 10 or 15 years ago if anyone would have said that there would be a
need to carry out surveys for Bats prior, amphibians, archaeology etc. to planning consent it
would have been laughed at, but since these have been subject of EU Directives and then
PPGs/PPSs they are key issues that developers have to consider when making development
If one key policy change could be put in place to bring landscape and trees into the same
status as those other environmental values above then the creation of a Landscape PPS
would be the policy change that would make a difference in the long tern development.

Street Tree Policy
The issue here is in terms of national policy, there is no national policy for street trees.
However, this could all change with the introduction of E-Government and E-Services
Standards, if and a big if, as part of that process national standards are introduced for E-
Tree Standards. These Standards for trees have already been outlined and you are no doubt
aware that as part of this process of E-Standards information and process is supposed to be
able to be shared across and between Councils and government. What an opportunity to
introduce a national standard which set out the policy framework, key performance areas
and incentives that would be a real policy improvement. See also comments in relation to
question 4.
POS Trees
The funding provided by the various „awards‟ is too complicated and is centred on targets
which have more to do with ticking boxes rather than restoration and enhancement of the
quality of the tree cover in POS. The allocation of funding needs to be directed to those
authorities that produce management plans which are focused on landscape form and
function, i.e. detailed programmes of funding for new plantings that are going to maintain,
restore or create specific landscape features for a specific purpose. Too much funding,
particularly Lottery Grants, are only given for replacement of „original‟ features even
though such features would have no sustainable future.


Example ref: No. 10.
Greening the city:
a guide to good practice

Abstract:                     Explores the range of benefits that that appropriate
                              greening of urban developments can provide, in
                              addition to simply improving the appearance of sites.
Series/doc. No:
Subject(s):                   Planning and development; Environmental
                              planning/land; Nature conservation, etc; Public open
                              spaces; town and country; public access‟ project
                              management; car parking; project manager; risk
                              assessment; waste disposal; car parks; tree planting;
                              project managers; energy efficiency; sports facilities;
                              car park; landscape architects; landscape design;
                              public art; project officer; energy conservation; reed
                              beds; street lighting; project planning; water features;
                              project plan; timber products; trees planted; disabled
                              access; design solutions; pedestrian access; noise
                              reduction; maintenance contract; wood chips; contact
                              name; sewage plant; maintenance contracts; security
                              fancing; cctv systems

Publisher:                    Department of the Environment
                              Merged with the Department of Transport to formt he
                              Department of the Environment, Transport and the
                              Regions (DETR).
Supplement:                   Planning & Development. To subscribe to The
                              Construction Information Service please telephone
                              Customer Services on +44 1344 382 300

(updated: April 26, 2006)


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Hoxton Manor Allotment Site
Submission to London assembly investigation: loss of street trees March 2007

I write on behalf of an allotment site, Hoxton Manor allotments, Chingford Road, London
E4. I would like to tell you about a particular example of the loss of street trees, which I
hope will be of interest to your investigation.

On Friday 19 January this year all of the trees were cut down to the ground in an area next
to the fence of our allotment site car park and bordering a 30 m section of the Ching Way, a
public footpath (classed as a public highway), where it runs from Chingford Road opposite
Walthamstow Stadium to the River Ching and a large Sainsbury‟s.

At least 20 trees of between 4 inches and 6 inches diameter, and a large number of smaller
trees were removed, by being cut down to the ground. The trees included willow, ash, plum,
sycamore, elder and a number of other varieties and they were in good condition. The strip
of trees 2-3 m wide by 30 m long provided a corridor between the River Ching and a small
wood closer to the road which is part of an open space in a largely industrial and residential
area. They were always full of birds including song thrush, robin and blackbirds.

I find it very difficult to explain the reason for the loss of these trees. It was completely
unnecessary. After a lot of phone calls I found out what happened. The head of the Waltham
Forest Council tree section ordered National Grid contractors to coppice the strip of trees
in response to their request for approval to trim them down to 3 m tall to provide a clear
gap between the trees and the National Grid pylons which stands in our car park.

The council‟s tree management policy on the website is very clear about the numerous
benefits of trees, and I find it hard to understand why anyone responsible for tree
management would make an order for such destruction. I have written to raise these points
with the council but as yet have had no reply.

The impact of this loss is quite considerable.

There is an impact on the environment and wildlife and in the general appearance of the

I have already described the importance of this strip of trees for wildlife in this small area.
These benefits have been lost, and it will be quite some time until the trees re-grow. As far
as I know there are no plans for replanting.

The appearance of the area is worsened. Those walking along the footpath now have a clear
view of cars in our car park and the ugly pylons, instead of seeing trees and leaves and

It is a busy footpath and there is quite a bit of litter. There have also been a number of
incidents of fly tipping so the removal of the trees has made this more glaringly obvious.
Unfortunately it hasn't yet spurred the council fly tipping clearance team to respond to
requests to tidy the place up.

There has been a drastic impact on the security of our allotment site and neighbouring
houses. This is a real effect and also a perceived effect.

Before the tree removal incident our car park fence was already a bit exposed by the
removal of a few shrubs on our side of the fence, which was done by National Grid in
consultation with us, and with replacement shrubs paid for by National Grid to make up for
the loss of cover. But this was not too much of a problem because the trees on the other side
of the fence provided important cover.

We had a break-in to 12 sheds in November, and one of the neighbouring houses was
broken into by someone who came through the allotment site.
Since this drastic tree removal we have had the fence cut almost to the ground and five
sheds broken into, and another attempt to break the fence down. Anyone who walks around
the outside of the site can see very clearly how extremely exposed we now are.
Unfortunately there are opportunist crimes, and we all fear further intrusions.

Plot holders and neighbours were already nervous and feeling insecure, and this episode has
upset all of us greatly.

We are also upset about the environmental and appearance issues.

This incident has reinforced the importance of street trees, and illustrates how upsetting it
is to lose the social and environmental benefits, their importance for security and the less
definable importance people attach to trees and the level to which they are upset when they
are removed, particularly when they are removed in such a drastic sudden and unnecessary

Although quite a small area of trees have been lost the impact has been disproportionate. I
would estimate that at least 10 householders and probably more are upset at the reduction
in their security, and at least 40 plot holders and their families are upset at the break-ins
they have suffered and at the fear they will suffer further break-ins as well as being upset at
the impact on the environment and the appearance of the area. I've no idea how many people
using the footpath are upset at how much worse their environment looks and is, but it could
be a considerable number.

The London Borough of Waltham Forest website has a very good section detailing the
benefits of trees (
management.htm). However this incident shows how easily, for some as yet unknown
reason, these benefits can be lost.

Imogen Radford:
Chair, Hoxton Manor Allotment Site


Knightsbridge Association

I am replying on behalf of The Knightsbridge Association to the Environment Committee's
investigation into the loss of street trees.

The principal purpose of writing is to ensure that the Committee is aware that some 22
trees are due to be lost and (some?) replaced on the south side of South Carriage Drive,
Hyde Park, as a result of the redevelopment of the Bowater House building (to be called
One Hyde Park).

Our members have expressed considerable concern at the loss of trees associated with this
development and the inevitable use of less mature trees to replace (some of) them in due
course. I know that the Royal Parks in actively involved in the process of agreeing the
replacement strategy.

I do not know all the facts to do with the loss of trees or the details of the decision making
process that your Committee is enquiring about. However, given the large number of trees
due to be lost and/or replaced, I thought that you should be made aware of the example in
case the Committee wishes to investigate how the issues your are investigating have been
handled in this (high profile) development.

We look forward to reading the Environment Committee's report in the Summer to see
what lessons there are to learn in our part of London or more generally.

Please contact me if you think I can help further.

Yours sincerely
Simon Birkett

Dear Mr. Davies,

I attended the Environment Committee on Street Trees and promised to send you a
comment. I'm sorry this is so late - I have been away. Anyway I hope my brief comments
are useful. I organise the tree wardens for the Brook Green Association, a local resident's
association. The tree wardens carry out an annual survey of the trees within our locallity
and submit a report to the Council arboriculturalists on the condition of the street trees in
our locality and make planting suggestions. Each warden has 3 or 4 streets. The
main finding, which has resulted from this experience, is that many street trees need minor
tree care such as the removal of suckers, tight ties and redundant supports. Because this
work is labour intensive it is often neglected. Our tree warden scheme is hoping to provide
a solution with the assistance of the Council officers by undertaking this minor care
ourselves. We are currently setting up this scheme - our main problem has been obtaining
insurance for our members. As an Association we feel this scheme increases members
interest in our local trees and their contribution to our environment and provides a positive
way of supporting the work of the Council officers.
I hope this is helpful.

Yours Sincerely
Evangeline Karn


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