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.
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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.
Damage caused to trees by dogs is increasing across the capital. This best practice note sets out to provide tools and guidance for anyone who wishes to protect trees from this type of damage. There is also a public information leaflet about dog damage to trees and how you can report it.
Protective measures for trees generally take one of two forms. The first is that of physical solutions – guards and fencing. However, fencing solutions are costly, detract from the aesthetic value of the tree and present a psychological barrier to people who want to enjoy trees in a non-destructive way.
Across London dog damage to trees is on the increase. This is a problem in all boroughs and across all types of parks and open spaces as shown in a recent London survey (LTOA 2009). This increase is linked with a steep rise in the numbers of dogs owned over recent years. Whilst this is primarily an antisocial behaviour problem, tree officers have an important role to play in identifying and resolving this problem. Currently there is considerable focus on “status” or “weapon” dogs. Whilst these groups of dogs undoubtedly contribute towards this damage, it is important to realise that tree damage can be caused by all types of dogs. It is also important to recognise that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and do not allow their dogs to damage trees.
Local councillors and school children will be joining Trees for Cities at a street tree plantings in Cold Harbour and Rush Common on 1 and 3 March as part of a 175-tree programme of plantings for the area.
London planes, cherries and ornamental pear trees will be planted as Forestry Commission’s London Tree and Woodland Grant Scheme and the Mayor’s Street Tree programme, delivered by Groundwork, and the London Borough of Lambeth.
The Mayor of London’s street tree programme has identified priority areas across all London Boroughs desperately in need of street trees. A street tree can transform a local landscape, adding colour and texture throughout the year, providing new habitats for wildlife and improving the general street environment for all by providing shelter and shade.
One of Trees for Cities’ driving forces is a commitment to raising awareness of the importance of street trees. As vital community spaces, it is important that streets look inviting to encourage their use, to ensure healthier, safer and happier neighbourhoods. Projects are ongoing across the country to make cities greener and less threatening with the addition of trees and green spaces.
In London, a group made up of charities, the Greater London Authority and local authorities determined the priority areas for the mayoral election in 2008, so that each would receive around 100 to 400 trees each over the next four years. This neighbourhood in Rushcommon was one area selected in the borough of Lambeth.
Trees for Cities consulted over 130 local residents, and took space and architecture on streets into account, in order to deliver suitable, safe trees that will grace the roads for hundreds of years to come.
The charity has planted more than 140,000 trees worldwide on streets, in parks, local woodlands and community projects, and works on volunteer projects like the Ancient Tree Hunt.