VETERAN TREES AND HERITAGE TREE AVENUES

The aim of the project was to improve conditions for veteran trees and heritage tree avenues through various measures and to develop strategic guidance for maintenance and long-term management.

Description of works:

Conditions for individual veteran trees were improved through soil amelioration and halo thinning of surrounding trees causing overcrowding. Conditions for trees in Garrads Road Avenue and Dr Johnson Avenue were also improved through the removal of deadwood, weight reduction and crown thinning and gaps in both avenues were filled in with new planting. New trees were also planted along the north side of Tooting Bec Road and in various lcations across Tooting Common to provide a degree of insulation from the busy road and the railway tracks by increasing the density of amenity trees.

Following a public consultation, a double row of horse chestnut trees running northeast from the junction of Tooting Bec Road and Dr Johnson Avenue towards Bedford Hill, which were approaching the end of their natural lifespan, were removed to allow for the re-establishment of a new avenue of small leaved lime trees of uniform age and size.

In addition the project investigated the presence of Acute Oak Decline (AOD) on Tooting Common. Samples from trees suspected of having AOD were collected and sent to Forest Research for analysis.Once AOD was confirmed of being present on Tooting Common measures were implemented to prevent future spread of the disease.

Finally a site-specific 20-year Tree Strategy for Tooting Common was produced to safeguard the future of veteran trees, historic tree avenues and the wider tree population on Tooting Common.

A new interpretation panel will be installed in 2019 to encourage people to learn about the Tooting Common tree population.