Show Your Trees Some Love On Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching, with the global event in recognition of our planet taking place on 22nd April. It’s a time to pause and think about the environment, both on a global and local scale.

One of the campaigns currently running alongside Earth Day is Trees for the Earth. The initiative was launched in 2016 and the aim is to see 7.8 billion trees planted worldwide by 2020, the year that Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The number of trees being targeted represents the projected global population in 2020. So for every person on the planet, there will also be a new tree.

There are several ways to get involved in the campaign. You can either donate to the Canopy Project, where one dollar will plant one tree, or you can record your own tree planting efforts online.

Writing for the Journal Gazette and Times & Courier recently, Coles County master gardener Janet Clark said we should see trees as a legacy we can leave for others to enjoy.

“Our ancestors appreciated the value of trees and planted them for future generations,” she stated. Planting a tree in your garden now means you’ll leave something that your children and even grandchildren can enjoy for years to come.

Ms Clark also stressed the importance of taking good care of your trees, to keep them strong and healthy throughout their lives. So, if you haven’t taken a look at your trees recently, now could be the perfect time to inspect them and contact a tree surgeon in Wandsworth if you need some assistance.


Is Tree Poisoning A Growing Problem?

You might not have considered that there could really be any crimes taking place relating to the trees lining our streets and in our gardens – but in fact, it seems that this may well be a growing problem around the UK, with stories of trees being poisoned appearing in the headlines year in, year out.

An article has just popped up on the BBC website about three pine trees in Bournemouth that were deliberately drilled and then had poisonous herbicide glyphosate poured into the trunks. Back in June last year, the trunks of two of the pines were drilled up to 15 times and the following month a third pine was found in a similar state. Now, two out of the three have died.

In order to stop this from happening again, wooden dowels were used to plug the holes up and CCTV was installed in the local area in October. Bournemouth Borough Council has now said it will be planting six new trees around the damaged ones, while Dorset Police are looking into the cause of the damage.

West Cliff Green Residents’ Association Chris Colledge told the news source: “Residents and a number of hoteliers along West Cliff are absolutely appalled that someone should take the law into their own hands, with a motive of whatever purpose, and target these beautiful trees.”

Sadly, this isn’t an isolated case and similar instances have been reported around the UK – and around the world. In 2015, for example, five 60-year-old beech trees in Laund Clough Woods near Accrington in Lancashire were poisoned, with holes found drilled at the base of the trunks and some kind of substance poured into them.

And in 2010, homeowners in Poole in Dorset appeared to take the law into their own hands, poisoning trees in order to improve their coastal views. According to the Daily Telegraph at the time, eight separate attacks were recorded over several months, including poisoning with cleaning fluid and chainsaw attacks.

And a Stoke Sentinel report back in 2014 revealed that a 47-year-old doctor was ordered to pay over £4,000 after poisoning two copper beech and one lime tree in his garden in Stone in order to limit foliage growth so that more light could flood into his house.

His trees were under Tree Preservation Orders, which are made by local planning authorities in England to protect woodlands, groups of trees or specific trees. The order prohibits wilful damage and destruction, uprooting, lopping, topping and cutting down without written consent from the council in question.

If you are having tree problems at home, you must always seek out arboricultural advice from contractors and consultants, or your council, to find out what your responsibilities are, as well as what options are available to you. If you’re not sure whether any of the trees in your garden or on your land are protected, you would certainly be wise to try and find out before doing any work.

Need a tree surgeon in Wimbledon? Get in touch with us today.

Don’t Neglect Your Tree Maintenance

Trees are beautiful. They add a lot to a garden and we know they’re good for our health too. But you need to look after your trees, because if they’re not properly maintained they can cause problems.

One of the biggest potential issues for homeowners is a tree that’s diseased or dying. These trees can pose a serious safety risk not only to you and your neighbours but also to your property.

A fully-grown oak, for instance, can cause a lot of damage if it falls down unexpectedly. There’s a risk of serious injury, not to mention the potential damage to houses, cars and fences.

Earlier in March Transport for London (TfL) was found to be negligent following an incident in 2012 where a London plane tree fell on a taxi, seriously injuring the driver and two passengers.

Horticulture Week reported that the TfL was deemed to be responsible for the accident because it hadn’t properly inspected the tree, which was diseased and should have been removed months before it actually fell down.

If a tree is on your land then it’s your responsibility to maintain it properly. There are some tell-tale signs that your tree might be diseased or dying. The first is bare branches – in winter this can obviously be hard to spot, but as we move into spring it should be clear if your tree isn’t coming into leaf properly.

Large cracks running up the tree trunk can indicate that the tree isn’t healthy, as can large bracket fungus growing on the tree trunk. This can be a sign that the inside of the tree is rotting.

If you’re concerned about a tree at your home, contact us to have the tree inspected. We provide tree felling in south west London and can remove any potentially dangerous trees for you safely.

Planting More Trees Could Help Tackle Air Pollution

Air pollution is a serious problem in the UK’s cities and elsewhere in the world. It’s estimated that exposure to high levels of air pollution causes thousands of premature deaths every year. With London recently dropping in the quality of life index as a result of its pollution and heavy traffic it’s clear more needs to be done to deal with the issue.

The UK’s capital fell from 39th to 40th place in the list produced each year by Mercer in its Quality of Life survey.

So could planting more trees be part of the solution? The BBC recently cited figures from the US forestry department that indicate that trees reduce urban air pollution by one per cent.

While that may not sound like a lot, it can actually make a significant difference to the health of the people living in a town or city.

Of course, having trees and green space can also make an urban environment a much more pleasant place to be, so there’s more than one argument in favour of planting more trees.

While councils need to do their bit to plant more trees on public land, you can help too by ensuring your garden is well looked after and that it’s planted with a range of plants and trees to help the environment.

Even if you only have a small garden, there are still trees that can work in the space. Varieties like crab apple trees, Snow Queen Himalayan birches and Japanese maple trees are all great if you don’t have a large garden but want to add some foliage.

If you need a tree surgeon in Harrow to help keep your garden in check, contact us today.


Grey Squirrels ‘Threatening’ Broadleaved Trees

The current population of grey squirrels in the UK is growing to the point that some of the country’s most loved trees are now being threatened, such as broadleaved trees like mature English oaks.

This is according to the Royal Forestry Society (RFS), which is now suggesting that an oral contraceptive be issued for these squirrels to help reverse the damage and ensure the survival of these trees – although the government and the forestry sector will both need to back a long-term commitment to provide funding for a five-year research programme.

Simon Lloyd, RFS chief executive, welcomed the news that the research has already received a £39,000 investment from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

“It is pointless to plant oak and other broadleaved species where they are vulnerable to grey squirrel damage without a rigorous and sustained control programme. There is a high risk they will never take their place as a thing of beauty in the landscape or a valued source of high quality timber,” he observed.

Grey squirrels can cause all sorts of damage to trees and woodland areas. For example, between April and July, they strip the bark around the trunk, which can prevent trees from growing properly. RFS figures suggest that up to five per cent of damaged trees may die, while many more will have degraded timber value because of broken tops, rot and stem deformation.

Naturally regenerated or planted trees aged between ten and 40 years (particularly beech oak, sycamore and sweet chestnut), are the most vulnerable to damage.

Looking for a tree surgeon in Wimbledon? Get in touch with us today.

Oak Processionary Moth: What Do You Need To Know?

With signs of spring starting to appear, it’s a good time to think about what you need to do to look after your oak trees as the weather starts to get warmer.

Last spring and summer there was an outbreak of oak processionary moth in parts of London, West Berkshire, Surrey and Hertfordshire, with the Forestry Commission noting that the treatment has the greatest chance of success if it targets the larvae while they are young.

This means anyone who has oak trees, particularly in the areas affected last year, should keep a close eye on their plants for any sign of this pest.

The first thing to know about this caterpillar is that it can pose a risk to human and animal health, as well as being bad for the oak trees it targets. The caterpillars are covered in tiny hairs that can irritate the skin, as well as potentially cause breathing difficulties. If you think you have an infestation of these caterpillars on a tree at your home, don’t go near it, just call the professionals.

With successful treatment, your oak tree should survive without any ill effects. The usual course of action is to apply an insecticide to the affected area. The sooner this is done in the caterpillar’s life cycle, the more effective it is. Caterpillars usually emerge in the spring, building their nests in early summer.

The caterpillars are typically found in large groups, and can often be seen moving around in long lines, nose to tail – which is where the ‘processionary’ part of their name comes from. If you spot any, make a note of the location and report this to the Forestry Commission.

If you need a tree surgeon in Richmond, or elsewhere in London, contact us today to find out about our services.



Two 70ft Trees Collapse In Domestic Garden

If you suspect that some of the trees in your garden at home are rotten and pose a health risk, you absolutely must seek expert advice from tree surgeons in Harrow or your local area, or you could find a serious accident happens.

A family in Burnley in Lancashire has had a lucky escape after two 70ft high beech trees crashed down in their garden and across a public footpath, crushing a swing set on his premises, the Daily Telegraph reports.

IT contractor Kamran Chaudhary had been in touch with Burnley Council about the trees but was informed that they were in fact protected. He claims that his request to fell the trees was refused because local planners believed that they complemented the area.

“They could have killed someone. I think [the council] has gambled with my family’s life as well as the lives of the people who use the footpath,” Mr Chaudhary told the news source.

It’s certainly not worth the risk if you do think trees in your garden or nearby pose a significant health risk. Even if you’re wrong, it makes sense to have them checked out, for your own peace of mind if nothing else.

Here at Arbormedics, we offer free site surveying and can also obtain planning permission from your council on your behalf for trees with preservation orders, such as the beech trees in this particular case. There is no additional charge for this, so please do get in touch if you think you’re in a similar situation to Mr Chaudhary.

St Albans Trees Attacked By Disease & Pests

Trees in St Albans have been under attack for quite some time, with the likes of ash dieback (a very aggressive fungus) now fully established in the local area, while two years ago the township was the second place in the UK to see its sweet chestnut trees damaged by oriental chestnut gall wasps.

According to the Herts Advertiser, the removal and incineration of just nine of these trees cost the local council £52,000, which has prompted officers to warn councillors that the corporate risk now facing them as a result of an increasing number of pests and diseases that affect trees is severe.

“Prevention is not a realistic option or strategy. Until a better estimate has been reached regarding the number of trees the authority may have to deal with and over what timescale, costs are impossible to predict. The potential liability is anticipated to be over £10 million across a number of years,” a report from the Forestry Commission observed.

The gall wasp was first discovered here in the UK in Kent back in June 2015, with the St Albans site confirmed at a later date as well. A sure sign of a wasp infestation is growths (known as galls) forming on the buds, leaves and leaf stalks, left by activity of the wasps’ larvae. The galls start out green in colour when they first appear in March and then turn red or rose-coloured by June. The majority fall off the tree when the leaves do, although some attached to the stalks can stay on the tree for years.

For help with Pinner tree surgeons, get in touch with us today.