N21 DIRECTORY – JULY 2015
SAVE OUR TREES
We wrote a little time ago, under the same heading, about the treatment of trees in Winchmore Hill, both in the public domain and in private gardens. This concerned either the complete removal of trees or the methods of cutting back the crowns of trees to reduce their impact.
We are fortunate in this area to have many trees lining our streets, enhancing our public spaces and, thanks to our predecessors, in our private gardens. This inheritance is fast disappearing, either by mismanagement or in the case of trees in private gardens, the apparent dislike of them or their nuisance. There are very few woodland trees being planted to make good these losses.
Unless private gardens are in Conservation Areas or the trees have been “listed” there is little the community can do to control the disfigurement or desecration of these trees.
However, in the public domain the Council has full control but sometimes they are compromised by threats of roots damaging the foundations of adjacent buildings. This is usually just a threat as the root pattern of most trees is very shallow and does not exceed the area of the tree crown by more than 50%.
In order to reduce the water extract from the ground causing subsidence the usual solution is to keep control of the crown and unfortunately, as shown in our previous article, by the common method of pollarding. While this is satisfactory for some species it certainly is not for all and the result is visually unacceptable, also causing leaf growth from the trunk. The result of this is a stump covered by leaves from top to bottom, looking nothing like a tree, impeding in addition access along the adjacent pavement.
The Council must take its obligations seriously by ensuring that mismanagement and a lack of expertise at all levels is eradicated.