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.
LTOA Elect New Executive Committee
The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) have announced a newly elected Executive Committee to head up the Association for the next two years. The committee were elected by the organisation’s membership and will continue to develop and support the management of London’s trees.
For full details of the new committee, to read their short biographies, click here.
The new Chair of the Executive Committee is Richard Edwards, Tree & Woodland Officer for the London Borough of Croydon; the new Vice Chair is John Parker, Arboriculture & Landscape Manager for Transport for London (Central area). The Chair, Vice Chair and committee members Jake Tibbetts (Islington), Dave Lofthouse (Merton), Andy Tipping (Barnet), Oliver Stutter (Southwark), Rupert Bentley-Walls (Hackney), Barbara Milne (Westminster), Gary Meadowcroft (Southwark), Paul Akers (Westminster) Colleen O’Sullivan (Camden) and Lawrence Usherwood (Brent) will drive the Association forward over the next two years, developing tree management within the Capital and promoting the activities of the Association.
Richard Edwards, new chair of the LTOA said:
"I am delighted and honoured to have been elected by our Members as Chair of the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA). Many thanks to Jake Tibbetts, my predecessor as Chair, for all his hard work over the last two years. Over that period the organisation has successfully developed and improved partnership working, building strong relationships with the Trees and Design Action Group, the Forestry Commission and Thames Water to name but a few, and our reputation and standing has increased inside and outside of the industry.
Over the next two years I intend to continue this great work, as well as concentrating on maximising the benefits that LTOA membership can bring to grass roots tree officers to aid them in their day to day activities, whether that be through seminars, working groups or publications. I am a great believer in using the exchange of information and knowledge to support tree officers and develop their skills, and we will be working hard over the coming months to achieve this."
Kew Urban Forest Resilience - summary of the conference now available
The conference, attended by over 100 delegates, provided a thought provoking programme. Presentations and discussions ranged from strategic resilience to implementation of good practice. Kew Gardens provided the perfect venue to consider and see potential alternative species that could help build a more resilient urban forest for the future.
Click here for details of the conference including presentations, key messages and discussions.
Update on the current LTOA working parties - July 2014
The Massaria working party is made up of Neville Fay (Consultant), Peter Holloway (AA), Jake Tibbetts (Islington), Neil Taylor (Royal Parks). A Massaria management document has been produced. Jake Tibbetts is leading the group on writing the technical section of the massaria guidance.
The OPM working party is made up of Dave Lofthouse (Merton), Bill Malin (Contractor), Ben Clutterbuck (Contractor), Howard Booth (TfL), Chris Colwell (Westminster), Mark Townsend (Contractor), Dale Mortimer (Ealing), Gary Rimmer (Brent), Lawrence Usherwood (Brent), Kirsty Hopla (Kingston), Craig Ruddick (Richmond), Dominic Blake (ATS), Gary Meadwocroft (Southwark), Julian Fowgies (Bromley), Raymond Bennet (Hounslow), Richard Edwards (Croydon), Richard Trippett (Bartletts), Daniel Sitch (Merton), Monica Castelino (K & C), Gillian Jonusas (Royal Parks), Ian Rodger (Royal Parks), Ralph Parks (OPM inspector for FC), Craig Harrision (FC), Andrew Hoppit (FC), Alex Needs (Elmbridge), Stuart Hunt (Hillingdon). Dave Lofthouse is the chair. This is an ongoing working party including the FC to combat OPM.
Was set up 2006 and the group has met over the last year on 9.5.13, 10.6.13, 17.9.13, 13.5.14.
The Canopy cover working party is made up of Matthew Thomas (GLA), David Houghton (Camden), Dave Lofthouse (Merton), Rupert Bentley Walls (Hackney), Richard Edwards (Croydon) Barbara Milne (Westminster), Jonathan Robinson (Hackney). The working party has developed a new system similar to i-tree canopy which is being piloted by a few boroughs on local (LB) canopy figures and the GLA area.
Was set up Nov 2012 and the group has met over the last year on 3.6.13, 6.9.13, 7.11.13, 23.1.4, 6.3.14, 15.5.14
The PR group is made up of Andy Lederer (Islington), John Parker (TfL), Richard Edwards (Croydon), Rupert Bentley Walls (Hackney) and David Humphries (City of London). This is an ongoing working party. The aim is to raise awareness and the profile of the work of tree officers and what the LTOA does.
The group has met over the last year on 24.7.13, 3.10.13, 10.6.14
Risk Limitation Strategy revision group is made up of Peter Osborne (Consultant), Tim Moya (Consultant), Simon Pryce (Consultant), Andy Tipping (Barnet), Dave Lofthouse (Merton), Gary Meadwocroft (Southwark), Jake Tibbetts (Islington), Jim Smith (FC), Michael Sankus (Medway), Richard Edwards (Croydon), Rupert Bentley Walls (Hackney). The group is revising this strategy especially in light of two recent cases Berent and Robbins. They meet every 6 weeks to progress this revision.
Was set up Dec 2012 and has met over the last year on 3.6.13, 6.9.13, 11.11.13, 21.3.14
Planning working party is made up of Chris Overbeke (Redbridge), Craig McCrindle (Ealing), Ian Leonard (Lambeth), Jon Ryan (Islington), Lawrence Usherwood (Brent), Oliver Stutter (Southwark), Peter Osborne (Consultant), Michael Sankus (Medway) Stephen Downing (Enfield), Sue King (Bexley). This group is currently looking at tree and landscape conditions to produce a best practice document.
Was set up Feb 2013 and the group has met over the last year on 23.7.13, 22.10.13, 12.12.13, 11.3.14, 26.6.14
Drought working party is made up of Katie Roberts (TFC), Dave Lofthouse (Merton), John Parker (TFL), Grayham Tindal (Islington), Cameron Brown (Camden), and Rupert Bentley Walls (Hackney). This group produced Sustainable Water Management: Tree are part of the solution and launched it at an LTOA seminar July 2013. John Parker is currently pursuing a non potable water supply with Thames Water.
Principal Officers working party. This working party is open to all principal officers and has met twice in 2013 hoping to continue to meet regularly to discuss any pertinent issues such as contracts.
Was set up May 2013 and the group has met on 15.5.13, 18.9.13, twice the meeting was cancelled due to lack of attendance in Feb and March 2014.
The Tree Pit materials working party is made up of John Parker (TfL), Pat Langley (Wandsworth), Ernst Erasmas (Southwark), Simon Ffoulkes (Bromley), Howard Booth (TfL), Chris Suthers (Street Tree), Michael Gargon (Street Tree), Michael Sankus (Medway). This group are looking at and assessing the various materials used on the surface of tree pits and will be producing a guidance document.
Was set up October 2013 and has met on 19.11.13, 17.1.14, 18.2.14, 8.4.14, 16.7.14
Biosecurity working party is made up of Neville Fay (Treework Environmental Practice), Dave Lofthouse (Merton), Jonathan Meares (City of London), Kelly King (Camden), Matt Steinman (Royal Parks), Fiona Critchley (Arboricultural Solutions), Dominic Blake (ATS), Thomas Campbell (Hackney), Chris Williams (Gristwood and Toms), Gary Meadowcroft (Southwark), Jim Smith (Forestry Commission). This group is writing a position statement and will be concentrating on looking at planes to begin with along with the current and potential pest and disease threats in London.
Was set up Dec 2013 and has met on 20.2.14 and 28.5.14.
What We Do & Do Not Know About the Physical Benefits of Urban Trees
A Fund4Trees (F4T) research project by the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG)
Introduction: state of research to date
Some considerable research has been and continues to be carried out on the physical benefits of urban trees in the UK, the rest of Europe and beyond. However, although initial surveys of the literature suggest that, while some areas have already been well covered, the work has been carried out by many isolated groups of researchers and consequently there has been no overall methodological framework, or even consistent physical basis for their investigations. In addition, some of the benefits have only been modelled, not investigated by experiment, while in many other cases only generic benefits of “typical” trees have been quantified with little investigation of the influence of tree species or cultivation techniques. The result is that, while there is good deal of literature, it is often quite inaccessible to practitioners and the general public. It is also hard to judge its quality and it rarely seems to tackle the questions they want to ask - which trees are best and how should they be grown to provide the greatest physical benefits? The result is that some important areas of research continue to be neglected while in others research is needlessly replicated or carried out using flawed methodologies.
Objectives of the TDAG project
To collect and review the research that has been carried out on the physical benefits of urban trees, identify what is and what is not known about them, and how best to improve our knowledge. This will culminate in a TDAG web resource for researchers, practitioners and the general public. The findings will be published in peer reviewed journals, on the TDAG website, as a stand-alone report for TDAG, and publicised to the general public through the conventional and social media.
The work will be carried out by Dr. Mohammad Rahman, whose PhD was on the subject of the effect of tree species and cultivation on the cooling benefits of urban trees. The work will be supervised by Prof. Roland Ennos (an authority on the physical benefits of urban trees) who stated that “We are delighted to undertake this work. A huge amount of thought and energy goes into research, but all too often the results simply don’t get through to the people who really need it – the practitioners. We aim to review the literature and let people know clearly and concisely what is known, and perhaps even more importantly, what is not known about the physical benefits of urban trees. This will also help researchers focus on important problems rather than repeating work that has already been done.”
The Fund4Trees Research Advisory Committee recommended the project for funding and their Chair (and F4T trustee), Dr. Gabriel Hemery said: "We are supporting this project as there is evidently a need to compile the very best existing evidence about the importance of our urban trees, and to review quantitatively any benefits which arise". He continued "not only that, but we are aware that the identification of knowledge gaps is much-needed, and these will help steer our own support for urban tree research in future as much as it will that of the wider research community."
In summary, Martin Kelly, TDAG Chair, explained that “it is vital that practitioners are aware of evidence based research in order to make long lasting decisions and a starting point is to know what evidence there is. TDAG therefore welcome the support of Fund4Trees for the research that will take the first steps to identify what we really do and don’t know about the physical benefits of urban trees.’’
London RE:LEAF Tree and Woodland Awards
On the 28th May 2014, London City Hall hosted a celebratory awards event to celebrate the work of individuals, communities and professionals to protect, improve and expand the capital’s tree and woodland cover. The London Tree Officers Association Individual Commitment Award was won by Al Smith, Arboricultural Manager Manager at London Borough of Camden.
In the photo from left to right are: Ian Gambles, FC England Director, Jake Tibbetts, LB Islington, Matthew Pencharz, GLA and Al Smith, Camden
For award winner details, photos from the evening and some of the case studies look on the FC website:
- CIRIA Event - Getting trees right in the urban environment
- The RELEAF London i-Tree Eco Tree and Woodland Survey
- London Tree Officers Association Seminar at Barcham Trees - Thursday 5 June 2014
- LTOA seminar With Ceratocystis training 8 May 2014
- London and Berkshire people reminded about caterpillar pest in oak trees
- Urban Forest Resilience Conference
- ICF South East England Regional Group Meeting
- Trees, People and Built Environment Conference II
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How to become a member
Members can attend, for free, the the LTOA meetings which are held four times a year and cover a wide range of tree related matters. Click here to find out how to become an associate member
LTOA Twitter Feed
St Jude's Storm
The damage to trees that St Jude's storm has caused across London:
|Transport for London|
|Corporation of London|
|Barking & Dagenham|
Pest and Disease
OPM - Oak Processionary Moth