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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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.”
It all started back in September 2010 talking to Mike Connick (Connick Tree Care) at the AA Conference in Manchester. There he was bedecked in his orange Chicago Tour de Trees t-shirt and I found myself asking the obvious question “Oh, you did the Tour then?” With the answer in the affirmative, a light-bulb flashed in my head and I sparked back with “We could do a mini-version here?” And so Ride for Research (RfR) was born. To give us a flying start, after a brief chat Dr David Lonsdale, who was stood just 4m away, the idea of raising research funds for Acute Oak Decline (AOD) was identified as the key focus. And even better, later that day, as news got around, fifteen riders were signed-up and free trees were secured from Barcham Trees.
At this stage, readers may ask why the new name? Simples! As Tour de Trees is an established international event, firmly associated with the main annual ISA Conference, we needed to draw a distinction between the two. To this end, a fresh new logo was designed to give RfR this distinct identity.
Branching Out: The future for London’s street trees by the London Assembly Environment Committee was released on 19 April 2011. This is the Committee’s update investigation into the future for London’s street trees.