Sunday, April 26, 2015
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The LTOA - Caring for the Capital's Trees

Welcome to the LTOA website. The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) constitutes the professional & technical voice for London's trees & woodlands. Its aim is to enhance the management of the Capital's trees. We hope that you find the LTOA website both interesting & informative. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Oak Processionary Moth emergence information and management guidelines

Oak Processionary Moth emergence information and management guidelinesOak Processionary Moth (OPM) larvae have been observed emerging over the last few days, signalling the start of the control period. Sightings have occurred as follows:

  • 8th April, Kew Gardens (observed on Turner’s Oak, a hybrid of Quercus ilex and Q. robur);
  • 10th April, Richmond Park;
  • 13th April, Netherlands, near Nijmegen (see attached photo).


This appears to be two to three weeks later than 2014, when the first record of emergence I could find was from the Netherlands on 21st March.

The Forestry Commission will begin operations in the Control Zone next week (w/b 20 April).


Come rain or shine: LTOA at the London Assembly Environment Committee

Come rain or shineIn October 2014 the LTOA were invited to give evidence to the London Assembly Environment Committee in relation to a report about extreme weather events. We used the opportunity to highlight the fact that trees play a hugely important role in preparing London to cope with extreme weather events such as drought or flooding, and to make the point that whilst we are of course in favour of increased tree planting wherever possible, planting alone will not meet the targets to increase canopy cover so long as established trees are being removed. Essentially the message we tried to convey was that tree retention can be just as important as tree planting, even if it is not always so well reported.

The report has now been published, click here to view, and we are pleased to say that our comments have been included. On page 22 of Come rain or shine. London’s adaptation to the risks of severe weather (March 2015) it says:

“Trees have an important role to play. The Mayor has a target to increase London’s tree cover from a baseline of 20 per cent to 25 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2050; by 2025, he wishes for 2 million extra trees. The Mayor has several tree-planting programmes with targets of 10,000 to 20,000 trees each, which have so far led to the planting of more than 100,000 trees. Since this represents a relatively small proportion of the planned London-wide increase, progress will therefore have to be achieved mainly through other means.

New planting is only part of the solution. New trees take a long time to reach maturity and deliver their full benefits. Also in urban areas trees are often subject to removal or reduction for many reasons. A significant determinant of green infrastructure benefits in the short to medium term is the protection and well-being of existing trees and green spaces.”

The report also specifically sets out ten recommendations for the Mayor. Recommendation 6 is:

“The Mayor should demonstrate, with quantified contributions from different actions as in the Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy, how and where his green infrastructure goals (including for tree cover and river restoration) will be met. Among the contributing actions will need to be better protection and enhancement of existing green infrastructure. The Mayor, with local government, should agree and implement appropriate measures to secure this.”

The LTOA are specifically referenced as the origin of the comment on page 22, demonstrating that our attendance at Committee had real influence. We hope that this document will be of use to our Membership as a further tool to be used in situations where trees are threatened, and we hope that the next Mayor of London will take on board Recommendation 6.

Richard Edwards, Chair of the LTOA, said "our reps rightly and successfully highlighted the need to manage and protect the Urban Forest we already have as well as planting for the future".


TPBEII Proceedings: A Milestone for Research on Urban Trees and Green Infrastructure

 TPBEII Proceedings: A Milestone for Research on Urban Trees and Green InfrastructureProceedings from the 2014 Trees People and the Built Environment II (TPBEII) conference, the international urban tree research event, have been published, marking a milestone in the development of our urban forests and green infrastructure. Some of the key themes covered in the publication include the environmental, economic and social benefits of urban trees and woodland, featuring research and case studies from around the world.

The TPBEII publication contains papers from leading international academics in the fields of urban forestry, greenspace design and sustainability. These include Prof Roland Ennos, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Hull, Prof Herbert Girardet, Co-Founder of The World Future Council, and Dr Kathleen Wolf, Research Social Scientist, University of Washington.

A sample of the topics covered in this publication are:

  • Creating Regenerative Cities (H Girardet)
  • Million Trees Los Angeles: Carbon Dioxide Sink or Source? (E G McPherson, A Kendall and S Albers)
  • Planting ‘Post-Conflict’ Landscapes: Urban Trees in Peacebuilding and Reconstruction (L D Shimada and M Johnston)
  • Invest From the Ground Up! The Benefits and Economics of City Trees and Greening (K L Wolf)
  • How Useful are Urban Trees? The Lessons of the Manchester Research Project (R Ennos, D Armson and M A Rahman)

Hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) on behalf of the Conference Steering Group of over 20 partner organisations, TPBEII was a two-day urban trees event that took place 2-3 April 2014, at the University of Birmingham. The event attracted over 400 delegates, providing a forum for collaboration between the wide range of different sectors involved with greenspace design, construction and management.

Discussing the relevance of the conference proceedings, Dr Mark Johnston MBE, Chair of the Conference Steering Group, said:

“The publication of these TPBE II conference proceedings represents a milestone in research on urban trees and green infrastructure. But most importantly this research will soon have an impact where it really matters – making a genuine difference to people’s lives on the ground in our towns and cities.”

The TPBEII proceedings have been published by the conference host, ICF. Visit to download a copy, or, where printed copies can be purchased.


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