After seeing the Tweet and picture yesterday of a beautiful local tree to be felled in the Christchurch grounds I phoned the council to ask why? Answering service and no response. We walk through the grounds daily and would like to know why this seemingly healthy old tree has to be cut down?
Please, does anyone else have any info or asked why?
I can't answer your question, but suggest you ring the Council switchboard on 0207 525 5000. The idea is not to make another phone call, but to ask the operator if they can give you the name and email address of an officer who's an arboriculturist, tree surgeon or whatever, with a view to emailing them.
It's frustrating when LBS officers don't reply to calls. But the benefit of an email is it's a record of your contact, and you can invoke the Council's Customer Care Policy. This requires either a substantive reply within 10 working days or a holding response pending further enquiries etc. in any case involving complexity.
Thank you all for picking up on this post. I've managed to speak to the women who carried out the assessment of the tree and will post the details when I receive the email. It does seem that the tree will be felled due to it leaning, it is a shame that it can't ne propped up as this is the only one in the gardens and the local area I think.
Please find the response from the Arboriculturlist officer for Southwark council:
In regards to your concerns on the felling of the Catalpa tree in
Christchurch Gardens, the tree is unsafe due to the following defects.
The tree is one sided from previous limb removal due to decay. The
remaining leader holds the weight of the top of the tree, this leader
has a large cavity. With multiple cavities at the top of the tree the
entire tree is structurally weakened. The location of the tree and the
extent of the defects it poses a health and safety risk being over a
footpath and exit of the church.
In regards to your suggestion to prop the tree up with supports, species
that are often held up by supports have different growth patterns and
are not known for their branches to easily snap. A Mulberry is a good
example of a tree that can be supported. This tree's species, height
and defects collectively do not make it a good candidate for propping or
As I said on the phone, I am sad to see this go as they are a lovely
species, but I have to ensure the safety of users in the garden, we will
be replacing the tree.
I'm really sad about this tree, I have walked under it so many times and it's such an unusual one. I have many happy memories of walking my dogs through christchurch on a sunny day on our way to the Southbank.
However I don't think BOST would let it be cut down it there wasn't a good reason, I hope they plant something great in it's place.