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.
We provide recommendations for Tree Officers and others who manage trees and woodlands in London, to help them formulate search and treatment plans and to understand the background to this serious pest.
The area affected by OPM is growing steadily. It seems possible that attempts to eradicate the pest may fail. Our Guidance Note also describes the reasons why, despite the hard work and effort put in by many organisations and individuals, we may be on the brink of failure.
At present this is generally considered as an issue of plant health. Should eradication fail and the pest continue to spread, the LTOA believes that the human health problem will belatedly have to be recognised at considerable potential cost.
At present, eradication may still be possible. The time to deal with the pest is now.
Dave Lofthouse, Chair of the LTOA, said “We are providing our members with the best tool we can devise to help them plan front-line action but resources will be the other key to success".
OPM surveillance and control work has been completed for the year. More than 250 sites known to be infested in the control zone were treated with insecticide during the spring, and more than 50,000 trees were surveyed for nests and caterpillars during the summer.
A total of 359 Statutory Plant Health Notices (SPHNs) requiring removal of infestations were issued in the control (outer) zone, and most of this work was done under the Defra-funded pilot programme.
Thank you to those who have provided reports of survey and control work in the core (inner) zone, and we would still appreciate any outstanding reports. Having as full a picture as possible is a real aid to monitoring and planning effective control programmes.
OPM was found in new areas during the year, including North-East London and the Guildford District of Surrey (see attached map), but we remain confident that the control programme has continued to limit its population, impacts and rate of spread.
An extensive pheromone trapping programme followed in late summer around the peripheries of the London/Surrey outbreaks, in the Pangbourne area of west Berkshire, and along a ‘corridor’ between the West London and Pangbourne outbreak areas. About 900 traps were deployed. The traps catch mature male moths, and the results (see attached document) can provide useful intelligence about changes in the distribution of the species.
A well attended meeting of many of the partners involved was held in London on October 13 to review the 2015 programme, and to identify what worked well and what needs to be changed. The results will inform our programme planning for 2016. Speakers included the Chief Plant Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spence, and we are very grateful to Professor Spence and all those who attended and contributed to this useful event. We are now planning the 2016 programme, and Defra and the Forestry Commission have briefed the government minister with responsibility for tree health.
May I remind everyone that if you are planning tree surgery on Oak trees during the Winter, please be sure to follow the Good Practice Guide to avoid accidentally spreading Oak processionary moth.
This will be the last OPM Update for 2015, and we expect to resume them in Spring 2016, or earlier if there are developments in the meantime which we would like to share with you. Thank you everyone who has contributed time, skills and resources to this year’s programme – OPM can only be effectively controlled by strong partnership working, and your contributions are much appreciated. Meanwhile, please do contact us at any time at the email address below if there is anything you wish to know or discuss.
OPM Project Manager
Amateur photographers who can capture the immense value of London's trees and woodlands are invited to enter this year’s London Tree and Woodland Awards. The photography category joins six others for the third year of the prestigious awards that are backed by the Mayor of London and the Forestry Commission.
Individuals, groups and organisations who work hard to protect London’s invaluable trees and woodlands are also recognised in the awards. Last year they were presented by Broadcaster Neil Fox and Tim Rollinson, the Forestry Commission Director General.
“London's trees and woodlands are highly regarded by those who live and work in our capital city for making our streets more attractive and offering shelter from the sun as well as providing a long-term habitat for wildlife, reducing pollution and helping to mitigate against climate change.
These awards recognise those organisations, individuals and schools that help to improve London through their dedication to trees and woodlands,” says Ron Melville, the Forestry Commission’s Regional Director for London.
The categories this year are:
The Deadline for receipt of Nominations has been extended to Friday 29th October 2010 and the Awards will be presented at an invited evening reception on 2 December in the London Living Room at the top of City Hall.
Details on the awards, categories and how/where to apply are available on the Forestry Commission London web site at www.forestry.gov.uk/ltwa
ulmus londinium will identify remaining elms and provide new trees for the capital
The first complete survey of London’s elm tree population is about to get underway, thanks to a grant of almost £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The Conservation Foundation will look at the role elm trees have played in the capital’s history and provide new trees for future generations.
“Many people think all the elms have gone, killed off by Dutch Elm Disease in the 70s, but we know of quite a few mature, healthy trees and there could well be many more” explained David Shreeve director of the Foundation.
“This is the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity and so it’s an excellent time to be putting the spotlight on the biodiversity of London’s elm population for there are many elms growing here from around the world. Some are in our parks and gardens, but many more have been planted over the years by local authorities and are doing a great job greening the capital’s streets. Some of these could well have a resistance to disease which would enable them to be used in future propagation experiments.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund will help us launch a major survey throughout London which we hope will involve all of the London Tree Officers and tree wardens along with other enthusiasts, schools and the general public. We will provide help to those who want to know more about identifying elms and stage workshops for experts and enthusiasts to meet and have elm leaves identified.”
As well as creating a comprehensive guide to where surviving elms are located within the M25 the project also includes plans to plant at least 1000 elm saplings, including in every street that has ‘elm’ in its name.
Dubbed ‘ulmus londinium’ the project will produce a DVD as a teaching aid in schools and will also research and record the uses to which elm wood has been put throughout London’s history, including the very first water pipes and lock gates as well as a building material. The information gathered will form part of an exhibition that will display its use by crafts people and artists. The exhibition, which will be held in a prominent London venue, will also feature dramatic and dance performances, music and poetry.
“We want people to report examples of how elm has been used in London throughout the ages,” said David Shreeve. “Craftsmen of many sorts used elm making a wide range of items from bellows to coffins and as part of the project we are hoping to stage an exhibition showing how craftsmen still use elm to create artworks and fine furniture.”
Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, Sue Bowers, said, “This project will provide a definitive record of London’s elm population and help to restore the historical landscape of London, as well as creating opportunities for people to understand how elm wood has been used in many different ways through the ages. It is a fitting contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity.”
Work on the project is beginning immediately and will culminate in 2012 when the Foundation celebrates its 30th Anniversary. Said David Shreeve, “The roots of our Foundation go back to an elm project which planted several of London’s elms which are still growing strong. This award will not only increase interest in the elm, but we hope it will also be a way of celebrating the very wide ranging environmental work of the Foundation since 1982.”
The consultation paper - Tree preservation orders: proposals for streamlining - has been launched. It can be found on the Communities and Local Government website at www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/treestreamliningconsult
This details the CLG's proposals to consolidate the existing regulations governing the making and management of tree preservation orders (TPOs), reduce the complexity of the model order and producing a unified system which will apply to all TPOs. It is likely that these new regulations will be brought into effect in 2011. The consultation period will end on 20 December 2010.