How many trees are there in Wandsworth?
Wandsworth Council undertakes regular surveys of all its public housing and street trees across the borough, plus 90% of its park trees. Council records indicate that Wandsworth currently has approximately 52,000 trees (excluding trees in private gardens), broken down into the following categories:
What does the painted strip at the top of tree stake signify?
The coloured strip at the top of the tree stake identifies the year in which the tree was planted. Recent annual plantings are coloured coded as follows:
What is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO for short)?
A TPO are made by the local planning authority (Wandsworth Council) to protect specific trees or a particular area, group or woodland from deliberate damage and destruction. A TPO can be made very quickly and can prevent the felling, lopping, uprooting or otherwise wilful damage of trees without the permission of Wandsworth Borough Council’s planning department.
The criteria for a tree to be considered for a TPO is high amenity value, good condition, visible, visual impact, rarity and proximity to property. A TPO for a tree in a back garden is very rare.
Can I help with tree watering?
Wandsworth Council outsources the annual planting of new trees across the borough. The tree planting contract includes the regular watering of new trees during the first 12 months after planting. During hot summers, however, the amount of watering provided by the contractor may not be sufficient to prevent the tree suffering acute distress and in some cases dying. When there are near drought conditions, young trees will struggle to survive and Tree Wardens are encouraged to assist with additional watering.
Signs that a tree is in distress include the leaves browning and dropping prematurely, the ground around the base of the tree becoming dry and cracked or the tree struggling to come into leaf after a dry spring. Watering the tree with a few buckets of water every week will help ensure the young tree has a good start. Watering at night helps ensure minimum loss of water through evaporation (which can be as much as 30% during the heat of the day). Water can be poured down the watering pipe but it is also important to apply water on the surface and allow it to soak down to those roots that are close to the surface. If need be, hardened earth can be loosened with a fork or trowel to prevent excessive water run-off.
How can I get a tree planted near my home?
Each year Wandsworth Council agrees an annual tree planting plan. In 2017/2018 over 1000 new trees were planted across the borough. This was exceptional and the usual number of trees planted each year is between 200 and 400, which includes parks as well as street trees. The Council maintains a database identifying potential planting sites but welcomes suggestions and requests for new locations put forward by residents and Tree Wardens. A possible site for a tree may include an existing empty ‘tree pit’ (a space where a tree was previously planted and may have died) or a completely new location.
Occasionally, where there are extensive gas, water or service pipes running underground or cables and lighting overhead, it may not be possible to plant a tree in a particular location, but most requests to plant a tree are met.