• Welcome to the LTOA website

    Welcome to the LTOA website

    The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) constitutes the professional & technical voice for London's trees & woodlands Read More
  • Become a Sponsor

    Become a Sponsor

    The LTOA relies on subscriptions from its members and sponsorship to operate. Read More
  • CAVAT

    CAVAT

    Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT). CAVAT provides a method for managing trees as public assets rather than liabilities Read More
  • How to Become a Member

    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. Read More
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  • Welcome to the LTOA website

    Welcome to the LTOA website

    The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) constitutes the professional & technical voice for London's trees & woodlands Read More
  • Become a Sponsor

    Become a Sponsor

    The LTOA relies on subscriptions from its members and sponsorship to operate. Read More
  • CAVAT

    CAVAT

    Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT). CAVAT provides a method for managing trees as public assets rather than liabilities Read More
  • How to Become a Member

    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. Read More
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The London Tree Officers Association

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.

­­Calculate London’s Tree CoverTwenty percent, more or less. That has been the figure given for tree cover in London for 20 years. This is despite hundreds of thousands of trees planted in the same period and many initiatives to increase tree numbers in the city.

Now the doubts are over. The accurate and precise figure for 2010 is 21.87%. This is made up of two elements: woodlands and isolated trees, e.g. street trees and trees in gardens and parks. Woodland covers 7.37% of the city. Isolated trees (or trees in small groups or lines which don’t qualify as woodlands) cover a further 14.5% of the city.

Calculating accurate figures for London’s tree cover is vital for the future:

  1. The Mayor of London and the London Plan propose targets for increasing tree canopy by 5% before 2025 and a further 5% by 2050. Estimates normally include a Standard Error (SE) of such a size that it would be difficult to calculate such increases. The LTOA’s survey has an SE of only +/- 0.56%. From now on progress will be measureable.
  2. Increasing London’s tree canopy is the key to a habitable city in the future, as not only global climate change but the more localised effects of the urban heat island make the city less of a place to live comfortably. Without knowing what we have now, we cannot realistically set goals. Are we succeeding or are we failing?
  3. Google maps now present the possibility of using previous aerial photo surveys. With these surveys we are able to show the difference tree planting or development has made over the past years to London’s tree cover.
  4. We know the size of London. Using these figures we can now make quantitative assessments of the need for planting and show that targeted planting can make a difference.
  5. We can finally start to plan London’s future Urban Forest.

Free Seminar – Coles Nurseries, Leicester – Thursday 23 February 2012

If your budgets have been squeezed, buying bare-root trees is a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly route to fulfilling your planting requirements - within budget.

We are running a free seminar focusing on the different forms of trees available for Autumn and Winter planting. Managing your tree planting budgets: The Bare-Root Alternative is a morning or afternoon session on Thursday, 23 February 2012 in Leicestershire.

For anyone involved with the design, specification, purchasing, handling or maintenance of trees for landscaping schemes, the seminar demonstrates the benefits and costs of bare-root trees, grading and growing, lifting, handling and establishment. Breakfast or lunch is provided.

Please contact Lynn Hunter on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0116 2412115 for more information and to book your place. Alternatively, book online at http://colesbareroots.eventbrite.co.uk/. Places are strictly limited.

Massaria Disease of Plane Trees Press Release December 2013

Massaria Disease in Plane Trees

A practical management guide to Massaria Disease of Plane has been released by the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA), available by free download. The disease, Massaria (Splanchnonema platani), affects London Plane trees (Platanus spp.). It presents a real challenge for managers of Plane trees in the built environment as the fungus appears to take advantage of branches predisposed by drought stress, leading to larger branches being affected, that are then shed. Apart from a few isolated reports of Massaria in the UK, Massaria has only been recorded in London since 2007.

The LTOA have produced a guidance document for tree managers providing a balanced and proportionate response to the problem. The LTOA felt it was well placed to write this guidance document after working with Treework Environmental Practice and the Arboricultural Association.

The purpose of this guidance document is to provide a framework for understanding the problem affecting London Planes, and for gathering and communicating evidence about the disease. The LTOA advocates that it is important to record information in a standard format that can be collated to achieve a uniform understanding of Massaria. We have developed a detailed inspection sheet as part of the guidance document. This approach will underpin the formulation of both short term and long-term management guidance, inspection protocols, and inform professionals involved in managing individual trees and populations of Plane trees.

The LTOA’s stance is to ensure that unnecessary and inappropriate intervention is avoided and that there is a measured and well-informed basis for managing and communicating the risks that may arise from Massaria.

Jake Tibbetts, chair of the LTOA, said “The biggest risk posed to the London Plane tree population is from a disproportionate response to the problem, driven through fear of an over exagerated perception of public safety risk. This is because the unnecessary pruning or felling of London’s Plane trees would be significantly detrimental to both the tree and human populations of London.

Management of the risks associated with Massaria requires no more than the application of existing management approaches. Management is also concerned with how resources are prioritised and allocated and needs to take account of the cultural care of the trees and their growing environment. Not to do so is to put future generations of Londoners at risk from loss of canopy and its associated impacts on quality of life.”

Click here to view all the LTOA's documentation relating to Massaria Disease

 

LTOA & Arboricultural Association Position Statement January 2012

Massaria Disease of PlaneThe LTOA Massaria Working Group (LTOA MWG) has been set up to look into the problem of Massaria Disease of Plane (MDP) and communicate its finding with a view to ensuring good management practice is maintained in order to safeguard all the benefits and contribution to the community derived from the Capital’s London Planes.

MDP is a recent problem affecting the capital’s London Plane trees, which, though not particularly harmful for tree health, causes branches to occasionally decline, die and fall. It is thought to be a host specific fungus that occurs naturally in Planes, in a latent (endophytic) form, with a soft rot decay developing in certain affected branches that can result in brittle fracture. It appears that the symptoms of MDP are first observed on small diameter branches and if moisture availability continues to decline it may affect larger diameter branches. Notably, the period between initial expression and eventual branch failure can be short. Therefore, the prevalence of MDP requires a high level of awareness, knowledge and effective management techniques to determine the appropriate action. This warrants collaboration, sharing of reliable information and production of guidance to ensure that public safety management is a balanced and proportionate response to a problem and not one that is risk-averse and over-reactive (see NTSG guidance).

The MWG will develop a guidance document for tree managers providing a balanced and proportionate response to the problem. Members of the LTOA MWG include Mike Turner (The Royal Parks), Chair, Neville Fay (Treework Environmental Practice) Jake Tibbetts (London Borough of Islington), Peter Holloway (Arboricultural Association), Patrick Prendergast (London Borough of Harrow), Neil Taylor (City of Westminster).

This Position Statement outlines the LTOA’s stance to ensure that unnecessary and inappropriate intervention is avoided and that there is a measured and well-informed basis for managing and communicating the risks that may arise from MDP. The guidance document will aim to provide a framework for understanding the problem affecting London Planes, and for gathering and communicating evidence about the disease. This approach will underpin the formulation of both short term and long-term management guidance, inspection protocols, and inform professionals involved in managing individual trees and populations of Plane trees. It will support community based and professionally interested stakeholders for the benefit of maintaining the public environmental, contribution to health and wellbeing of London’s Plane tree population.

The LTOA MWG believes that the biggest risk posed to the London Plane tree population is from a disproportionate response to the problem, driven through fear of an over exagerated perception of public safety risk. This is because the unnecessary pruning or felling of London’s Plane trees would be significantly detrimental to both the tree and human populations of London.

Common sense risk management of trees

At this time of year when many people are thinking of planting new trees The National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) is launching its guidance on the common sense management of existing trees.

The NTSG is an exemplar of a broad partnership of government, the private sector and civil society working together effectively to a collective goal.

The guidance is quite simply an easy to use practical management tool. It helps large landowners and individual tree owners who wish to be reassured that they are fulfilling their duty of care to visitors and passersby alike. It provides sensible, clear and unambiguous practical advice in a way that is easy to read and can be interpreted to suit most, if not all, locations where trees grow. Locations ranging from trees in forests, woodlands and rural areas through institutional and commercial land to parks, gardens and domestic properties in urban areas.

The documents that will be available are:

1. Common sense risk management of trees (The main guidance document priced at £19.99 plus P&P)

2. A Landowner Summary (for estates and smallholdings available free)

3. Managing Trees for Safety (For the domestic tree owner available free)

This guidance has been produced over a period of three years following the commissioning of new research into trees and risk, extensive consultation on early drafts and considerable effort by the NTSG Drafting Group in drawing together all the various views, concerns and priorities expressed by the full NTSG membership.

Judith Webb Chair of the NTSG said:

“This suite of guidance documents brings together the best, generally accepted and balanced approach to managing risks from trees, whilst recognising the many benefits which they provide”.

“It has been an extraordinary journey bringing together arboriculturists and foresters, the public, private and charitable sectors, landowners and managers and the rural and the urban. What has been rewarding and delightful has been the extent of common understanding born from a common love and knowledge of trees”.

All the guidance documents as hard copies or PDF downloads are now available from the Forestry Commission Publications website. There is a link available from the NTSG website so that interested parties can go straight to the relevant page.

www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/HCOU-4VXJ5B

www.ntsg.org.uk

All press enquiries about the National Tree Safety Group guidance should be directed to:

Judith Webb MBE, Chair NTSG. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Mobile: 07973 279081

National Tree Officers Conference 2017

The National Tree Officers Conference will be held on 8 November 2017 in Telford, Shropshire with speakers sharing their experience and best practice within Local Authority Arboriculture. Anyone is able to attend and booking information is available here.

The LTOA website is sponsored by:

How to Become a Member

Members can attend, for free, 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