Thursday 15 June 2006 8.18am
ryan sewell wrote:
Just what we need a tree snob! An ignorant one at that. These trees were planted by some thoughtful soul who knew that what was needed in a children's playground was shade and shelter and that it was needed quickly. These trees provided that. What is more they provided a few brave kids a thrilling scramble to the top. "Oh no! We can't have that!" I hear you cry. Instead we must plant yet another London Plane tree, not a native tree by the way, and not even a naturally occurring species. Wonderful! By the time it provides any shade you will be dead and your children (if you have any) will be long grown up. In the meantime its millions of boring clones in London will go on causing millions of hay-fever and asthma sufferers misery. Lucky the park is so convenient for St.Thomas'.
Welcome to the forum, Ryan.
I'm happy to be described as a tree snob, not least because I know enough never to recommend that plane, ash or silver birch should never be included in plantings around a children's playground. Sadly more than can be said for some of the "consultants" employed to design landscaping by our councils - who never seem to have never read a horticultural datasheet.
But potential for allergic reactions is no reason for uprooting historic plantings of London Planes. (Although I wouldn't go as far as some of the Muscovites defending every last pukh
shedding poplar on the grounds that they were Comrade Stalin's favourite tree and his legacy to the city!)
But you should at least know that this thread started out as a light hearted rant against Leylandii in general, and I therefore posted it in the Chatter forum. It was only when Sarah posted her SE1 specific response that our editor decided to move the thread to the SE1 forum.
Indeed, thinking about their former appearance, I'm not even sure that the trees in Archbishop's Park
were Cupressocyparis Leylandii
as reported in the story - possibly a slower growing Cupressus
However, I have seen far too many parks and playgrounds turned into dark and dank places because hedges of Leylandii installed as windbreaks have turned into 40 foot monsters due to a lack of maintenance budgets. (see the Kennington Park extension until recently)