|Local Councils Fail to Match Up to Eco-Credentials|
Figures Expose Hounslow & Ealing's Less Than Green Tree Policy
Figures produced by the London Tree Officers Association show that although the number of trees in London is up by 1.7% over the past five years, local councils are falling behind their neighbours.
Eco-credentials of both Ealing and Hounslow Boroughs are undermined by a net reduction in the number of trees over this period.
Ealing removed more trees than any other borough apart from Harrow and Redbridge for Health and Safety reasons although Redbridge planted far more than they removed. However, the council did recently announce a major tree planting exercise for Ealing Common.
A spokesperson for Ealing said that it was the council's policy to only remove trees that are dead, diseased or unsustainable (ie the size and location may be obstructing footpaths or homes). Tree Officer, Ben Clutterbuck said: "When a tree is removed, it is automatically updated on our database as a planting opportunity. We will always look to replant in the same location, however when trees are removed because they are diseased, dead or dying, it is often necessary to delay planting for at least 12 months to allow partial decay of the large roots remaining under the footway. This varies depending on the size of the tree removed but it does mean that in many cases it is not feasible to replant in the same location in the same year the tree has been removed."
Hammersmith & Fulham Borough fared best in the area with a 5.9% increase in the number of trees. Harrow managed to remove 14.9% of their tree population during the period.
We are awaiting comment from Hounslow Council about these figures.
Source: The London Tree Officers Association Survey of London Borough Tree Officers
May 18, 2007