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.
Money to plant and maintain street trees across London could be under threat because of council budget cuts, the London Assembly heard today.
The Assembly’s Environment Committee heard the Mayor’s street tree scheme was on target to deliver 9,500 new trees by Spring 2011 but there are concerns about ongoing maintenance costs for local authorities beyond the three year funding it offers.
Jim Smith, of the Forestry Commission, told the Committee that tree planting and maintenance budgets are often an easy target at times of financial pressure.
“The challenges local authorities face in the future will have an impact on tree management budgets,” he warned.
Mr Smith said the Committee’s previous report on street trees, which revealed that up to 2,000 had been lost within five years in the capital due to subsidence claims, had successfully highlighted the importance of maintaining London’s large trees.
He said so far eight London boroughs had signed up to a pilot scheme which sets out a standard process for dealing with subsidence claims, including suggesting pruning trees instead of felling them[ However, the Committee heard some councils were still reluctant to share data on street trees.
Chair of the Environment Committee, Darren Johnson AM, said: “London’s great trees play an important role in making London a more pleasant place to live. It is encouraging that people have taken on board some of the recommendations of our previous report.
"However we still face challenges in understanding how many street trees there are in London and it is clear there are now very real concerns about whether the capital’s trees could fall victim to budget cuts in the current financial climate.”
A consultation paper on Proposals for changes to planning application fees in England was published on 15 November. While it does not propose to introduce a fee for tree work applications/notices it does seek comment on whether this is the appropriate approach. Responses must be received by 7 January 2011. The consultation paper can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/planningfeesconsultation
NB. Please note that the consultation on TPOs (Tree preservation orders - proposals for streamlining - http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/treestreamliningconsult) closes on 20 December 2010.
The consultation paper - Tree preservation orders: proposals for streamlining - has been launched today. It can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website at http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/treestreamliningconsult. This details the 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.
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