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Tree Maintenance Works

Veteran Trees and Tree Avenues

As part of the Tooting Common Heritage Project a range of management recommendations will be implemented to various veteran trees and tree avenues across Tooting Common. These recommendations are based on the detailed assessment provided by Treework Environmental Practice who carried out the 2015 tree survey during the development phase of the project.

The aim of the implementation of these management recommendations is to:

  • improve conditions to various specimens so that they will thrive and potentially make the transition from ‘veteran’ to ‘ancient’ trees, of which there are currently none on the Common.

  • stimulate new growth and prolong the life expectancy of Dr Johnson Avenue and Garrad’s Road oak tree avenues.

The pruning work is light work only with no pollarding and no felling and will be carried out in a sympathetic manner.

Description of works:

  • Dr Johnson Avenue - 4 veteran oaks trees midway along the road (3 on the east side and 1 on the west side) will be reduced by between 15% and 25%.

  • Garrad’s Road Avenue - Halo thinning (i.e. removal of nearby competing growth) around 1 oak tree, and 3 oak trees to be reduced by 25%.

  • Spread a layer of uncomposted woodchip mulch to a depth of 10cm over the root zone out to the crown dripline of 25 veteran trees (9 done so far), leaving a 30cm gap between the woodchip and tree trunk. (This technique will improve the vitality of the veteran trees by improving the condition of the soil and has been shown to be beneficial to veteran trees elsewhere. The organic matter provides an insulation layer, conserves soil moisture, prevents soil erosion and improves soil structure and fertility in general.)

Timeline: The pruning work will be carried out in November-December. Mulching will be carried out as and when woodchip mulch becomes available through the work being undertaken across Tooting Common. Woodchip from diseased trees (if any) will not be used.

Tree Planting

Gaps between trees in Dr Johnson Avenue and Garrad’s Road Avenue will be filled in with new planting as part of the project. Also, it has been recognised that the vista of Dr Johnson Field, which is very open at present with insufficient insulation from surrounding traffic, could be improved through additional planting along the north side of Tooting Bec Road. This will not be an official avenue but will enhance the amenity of the landscape.

Description of works:

  • 5 x English Oak Trees (Quercus robur) to be planted in Dr Johnson Avenue

  • 5x English Oak Trees (Quercus robur) to be planted in Garrad’s Road Avenue

  • 5 x English Oak / Small Leaved Lime Trees (Quercus robur / Tilia cordata) to be planted along Tooting Bec Road

  • 3 x young Mongolian Lime Trees (Tilia mongolica Maxim), planted within the old Horse Chestnut Avenue will be moved to new locations on the Common (locations to be confirmed)

Timeline: Planting will be carried out before March 2018.

Tooting Bec Lake

Overhanging and submerged trees on the island on the lake will be removed to enhance conditions for marginal vegetation and to reduce shading and nutrient enrichment. This work was supposed to be carried out in spring 2017 but had to be put on hold due to nesting birds. The work will involve cutting and hauling 4 Willows and 1 Holly out of the water and to stack arisings on the island.

Timeline: November – December 2017

Fossil Tree Enclosure

The oak tree (Quercus robur) growing in the foundations of the fenced enclosure, which impedes the view of the fossil tree and its enclosure from across the lake, will be removed, including root system, to allow for new surround footings within the original compound footprint.

Timeline: Spring 2018



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