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.
Planes - Keep Paying Attention
The London Tree Officers Association and the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory based at Reading University have been undertaking investigations on Planes in London which have been exhibiting signs of stress and disease. So far, despite detailed study, all results have proved negative for the one we all dread - Ceratocystis platani - or Plane Wilt, which has devastated populations of Planes in France, Italy, Greece and other countries on the European mainland.
These results are provisional and further study of stressed/diseased trees is ongoing. A number of samples have been submitted to the laboratory but molecular DNA analysis has yet to confirm Ceratocystis. Laboratory study is, however, expensive and time consuming and has to be combined with the sort of careful observation by an experienced eye, that our members and the scientists at Bartletts possess. We are looking for symptoms of wilt but we know that our urban Planes are in constant danger from many factors which threaten them - root severance, chemical contamination or a number of other fungal, bacterial, viral, insect and mechanical problems. Some of these can appear similar and some can pre-dispose our trees to further attack.
The LTOA and Bartletts will continue their partnership with the assistance of our members, who are always on alert to trees under stress. We have set up a working party to report on best protective measures and co-ordinate our response. We must always remember that one can prove presence but one cannot prove absence.
The Minchenden Oak
This famous ancient oak tree (former pollard) is named the ‘Minchenden Oak’ formally named the ‘Chandos Oak’ and features in Jacob Strutt’s ‘Sylva Britannica’ (1821).
Once said to have the largest canopy spread of any tree in England (and why it features in Sylva Britannica) it has unfortunately suffered some poor tree pruning practice in the past and while still a spectacular and historic tree, is no longer the specimen it must have been.
The tree stands in the LB Enfield owned ‘Minchenden Oak Garden’ a small pocket garden in Waterfall Road, N14 7JN.
A recent inspection of the Minchenden Oak identified a structural related concern in the form of cracking found on the south side of the stem. Monitoring over a 4 month period showed that the movement was continual and appeared consistent with a rotational movement of the stem which was suspected to be a symptom of structural subsidence. In addition to this many fungal fruiting bodies were identified along with decay points in the upper crown that were considered to reflect an overall decline of this very important tree.
Visual decline is not evidence enough alone to warrant any remedial action on such an important tree, so we thought it prudent to have a condition and internal decay test undertaken in the form of a PiCUS test with reported findings.
The extent of decay revealed by this test supported our concerns and further identified that this decay had reached a critical stage where by remedial measures were not only warranted but necessary to mitigate the potential for overall structural failure; an unacceptable risk given that this is an extremely important tree.
We have looked for an option that retains as much of the Minchenden Oak as possible whilst reducing the possibility of overall structural failure, a recommendation to remove as much of the upper frameworks as deemed necessary for structural stability has been decided. This would hopefully promote the lower growth and allow the retention of the tree all be it to a lesser extent than its current form.
This works is planned to be taken forward on the 12th of November 2013 and will involve the use of a crane from an access point outside the park itself. The crane is necessary in order to remove the upper framework without damaging any of the lower structure giving the tree the greatest chance of survival during this process.
Urban Greenspace Conference Goes Global With Call for Papers and Sponsorship Success
Urban Greenspace Conference Goes Global With Call for Papers and Sponsorship Success
The Call for Papers for major international urban trees research conference Trees, People and the Built Environment II (TPBEII) has now closed, with submissions from a record number of countries and a guarantee from the conference partners of a world-class programme. In addition, five renowned organisations have been secured as headline sponsors in a move that reaffirms the position of the conference as the premier event for professionals working with trees and green infrastructure in the built environment.
The headline sponsors for TPBEII are: Civic Trees, who have been supplying, handling, planting and relocating mature and semi mature trees since 1963; Deep Root, a leading urban landscape products and ecosystem services supplier; the Forestry Commission, the government department responsible for the protection and expansion of England and Scotland’s forests; Lend Lease, an international leader in property and infrastructure; and Myerscough College, one of the leading UK establishments for higher education in arboriculture and urban forestry.
From national to international, academic to commercial, all the conference sponsors are united in their recognition of the significance benefits our urban forests bring, whether socially, economically or environmentally. Sustainability is also at the core of the work they do, and so too is their ultimate goal to help our green spaces flourish and make our towns and cities healthier, happier and more liveable places to be.
Chair of the Conference Steering Group Dr Mark Johnston MBE commented: “The huge success of the 'Call for Papers' is a tribute to the outstanding work of the members of the Steering Group and others who ensured that this went all around the world. We received almost 100 submissions from 27 countries, embracing all corners of the globe. Competition for slots at the conference is therefore intense but we can therefore guarantee a truly world-class programme, and some very high calibre speakers.
They will join our headline speakers: Sir Terry Farrell CBE, one of the UK’s leading architect planners; Professor Timothy Beatley, Professor of Sustainable Communities at the University of Virginia; and Professor Herbert Girardet, co-founder of the World Future Council.”
Dr Johnston also acknowledged the significant support offered by the headline sponsors, saying:
“We are also delighted to welcome on board our fantastic line-up of headline sponsors. The calibre and standing of these organisations shows the regard with which TPBEII is held internationally. The range of organisations that are supporting the event also recognises the diversity of those concerned with the management and development of the urban forest. Our sponsors highlight perfectly the whole ethos of the conference in bringing together natural and built environment professionals to ensure an integrated approach, allowing us all to work together to ensure a vibrant, greener and more sustainable future for our urban communities and our urban trees.”
TPBEII is a pan-industry partnership initiative between over 20 organisations representing professionals within the greenspace and built environment sectors. It is hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) as its 2014 National Conference and takes place 2-3 April, 2014 in Birmingham, UK.
The previous, and inaugural, TPBE conference took place in 2011. This time over 400 delegates are expected to attend this two-day event, bringing together tree professionals, landscape architects, urban designers, engineers, architects, planners, ecologists and conservationists. Once again it looks set to be one of the largest urban tree conferences ever held in Britain.
Booking for the conference will open later in November 2013.
- Mayor calls on green-fingered Londoners to plant 12,000 trees
- British forests under new threat from pests
- Update on the current LTOA working parties - October 2013
- NEW LTOA Constitution Approved
- Fund4Trees London Event - 23rd October
- Fund4Trees now a Registered Charity
- New LTOA guidance 'Sustainable Water Management: Trees are part of the solution'
- LTOA trees, water and drought seminar - Friday 19 July 2013
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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|
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
Pest and Disease
OPM - Oak Processionary Moth