Trees travesty

Thursday, 30th December 2021

• ON Friday December 17 contractors for Camden tree department lopped the street trees in Inkerman Road, Kentish Town.

The trees included a rowan which has been hacksawed to a grotesque branchless trunk. It will be a long time before this travesty begins to look like a tree again.

I understand the reasons for pollarding lime, plane and other London trees which maintain growth and health on this regime.

It doesn’t work on mountain ash (rowan) trees. I know it because I live across the road from this now-sorry specimen which suffered the same fate three years ago.

This autumn it had at last grown stems long enough to show off its decorative red berries in time for Christmas – only to be stripped of the lot. Worst of all, our ever scarcer garden birds have lost their winter food supply just when it was most needed.

Passers-by said afterwards “I hope you protested”. Even the contractors sweeping up the berries agreed that it didn’t make sense. The tree will probably struggle on, stripped of its shape, beauty and purpose. The last blackbirds have gone, of course.

If rowans are now thought too big for street trees, better not plant them. At least wait until late winter when we and the wildlife have enjoyed the benefits before such brutal treatment.


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