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Council cutting trees down
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Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013
Post: #1
15-04-2014 08:43 PM

Hello. I saw this news story about Lewisham Council not planting more trees than it cuts down and it prompted me to write to the council for more info. I was interested to know why, when the council cuts down a street tree, they don't replace it, ie plant a new tree on the same spot. When street trees are cut down the council just either leaves a stump or removes the stump and then tarmacs the area where the tree was. This is slowly leaving what were tree-lined streets denuded. A good example is Sunderland Road in Forest Hill which is slowly being cleared of trees. Anyway, I emailed this to the council at the weekend and they sent me this response. I post it really just in case anyone else cares about the loss of tree cover and interested in the council's position.

The response was: "I have spoken to the Council's Tree Team who inform me that currently they have a limited budget for planting - we do manage some every year, however, the bulk of the budget we have has to be spent on maintenance and upkeep of our tree stock which is very large - we are also responsible for trees within parks, some housing sites, nature reserves and other green areas.

In this regard there are two primary considerations: the support of our local trees which are a valuable asset, and the duty of care we have in relation to health and safety - particularly on the public highway. All street trees are subject to survey and inspection and works are issued in relation to this as we have to prioritise. We do not fell unless we have a need to therefore please be assured that if you are seeing trees coming down that this is happening for good reason - tarmac is laid down post felling to prevent a trip hazard and does not mean we have no intention of reusing the tree pit. Figures relating to tree stock/planting naturally fluctuate annually and variance is created by issues such as stock condition (which is a movable beast so to speak), extreme situations (such as the recent storms), financial avenues are available at any given time to enable planting, and internal/external resources available.

As resources are subject to budget restraint, other avenues have been explored by officers for some time to enable the continuance of tree planting in the borough, these include:

1) Residents can approach their local ward assembly and request money for planting. If a bid is successful the cost of a tree is £240 and residents take the responsibility of watering the tree for a period of two years. Information about your local assembly and when/where it is next due to meet can be found on

2) Residents can bypass the assembly process and make a personal contribution cost is higher as £360 per tree. If residents take the responsibility of watering the tree for a period of two years the cost is £240.

3) Bids for external funding are carried out by local community groups who then work in partnership with the council in relation to locating sites and ordering the trees etc

4) The council applies for monies for national initiatives.

In cases 1), 2) and 3) the tree is a contribution as such and not owned by residents as the tree will fall within the council's tree maintenance programme and be the council's responsibility in terms of pruning etc.

I am sure you will be pleased to know that using all of the routes above this year saw 90 trees planted in Lewisham and we will of course continue to work with the community to do what we can to maintain, preserve and enhance what we have. We are meeting with residential groups regularly to try to raise the profile of tree planting and to work together to keep what we all agree is a valuable asset both now and for the future."

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Messages In This Topic
Council cutting trees down - MrMike - 15-04-2014 08:43 PM
RE: Council cutting trees down - Ponyboy - 15-04-2014, 09:42 PM
RE: Council cutting trees down - Sherwood - 16-04-2014, 07:43 AM
RE: Council cutting trees down - Triangle - 16-04-2014, 11:50 AM
RE: Council cutting trees down - Erekose - 16-04-2014, 01:49 PM
RE: Council cutting trees down - edd - 19-04-2014, 10:09 AM
RE: Council cutting trees down - jenros - 23-04-2014, 07:26 PM
RE: Council cutting trees down - skyepark - 01-05-2014, 09:50 PM
RE: Council cutting trees down - Erekose - 01-12-2014, 08:51 PM
RE: Council cutting trees down - michael - 02-12-2014, 02:42 PM
RE: Council cutting trees down - michael - 03-12-2014, 12:28 AM

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