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.
Proceedings from the 2014 Trees People and the Built Environment II (TPBEII) conference, the international urban tree research event, have been published, marking a milestone in the development of our urban forests and green infrastructure. Some of the key themes covered in the publication include the environmental, economic and social benefits of urban trees and woodland, featuring research and case studies from around the world.
The TPBEII publication contains papers from leading international academics in the fields of urban forestry, greenspace design and sustainability. These include Prof Roland Ennos, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Hull, Prof Herbert Girardet, Co-Founder of The World Future Council, and Dr Kathleen Wolf, Research Social Scientist, University of Washington.
A sample of the topics covered in this publication are:
Hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) on behalf of the Conference Steering Group of over 20 partner organisations, TPBEII was a two-day urban trees event that took place 2-3 April 2014, at the University of Birmingham. The event attracted over 400 delegates, providing a forum for collaboration between the wide range of different sectors involved with greenspace design, construction and management.
Discussing the relevance of the conference proceedings, Dr Mark Johnston MBE, Chair of the Conference Steering Group, said:
“The publication of these TPBE II conference proceedings represents a milestone in research on urban trees and green infrastructure. But most importantly this research will soon have an impact where it really matters – making a genuine difference to people’s lives on the ground in our towns and cities.”
The TPBEII proceedings have been published by the conference host, ICF. Visit http://www.charteredforesters.org/tpbeii-proceedings/ to download a copy, or lulu.com, where printed copies can be purchased.
In October 2014 the LTOA were invited to give evidence to the London Assembly Environment Committee in relation to a report about extreme weather events. We used the opportunity to highlight the fact that trees play a hugely important role in preparing London to cope with extreme weather events such as drought or flooding, and to make the point that whilst we are of course in favour of increased tree planting wherever possible, planting alone will not meet the targets to increase canopy cover so long as established trees are being removed. Essentially the message we tried to convey was that tree retention can be just as important as tree planting, even if it is not always so well reported.
The report has now been published, click here to view, and we are pleased to say that our comments have been included. On page 22 of Come rain or shine. London’s adaptation to the risks of severe weather (March 2015) it says:
“Trees have an important role to play. The Mayor has a target to increase London’s tree cover from a baseline of 20 per cent to 25 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2050; by 2025, he wishes for 2 million extra trees. The Mayor has several tree-planting programmes with targets of 10,000 to 20,000 trees each, which have so far led to the planting of more than 100,000 trees. Since this represents a relatively small proportion of the planned London-wide increase, progress will therefore have to be achieved mainly through other means.
New planting is only part of the solution. New trees take a long time to reach maturity and deliver their full benefits. Also in urban areas trees are often subject to removal or reduction for many reasons. A significant determinant of green infrastructure benefits in the short to medium term is the protection and well-being of existing trees and green spaces.”
The report also specifically sets out ten recommendations for the Mayor. Recommendation 6 is:
“The Mayor should demonstrate, with quantified contributions from different actions as in the Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy, how and where his green infrastructure goals (including for tree cover and river restoration) will be met. Among the contributing actions will need to be better protection and enhancement of existing green infrastructure. The Mayor, with local government, should agree and implement appropriate measures to secure this.”
The LTOA are specifically referenced as the origin of the comment on page 22, demonstrating that our attendance at Committee had real influence. We hope that this document will be of use to our Membership as a further tool to be used in situations where trees are threatened, and we hope that the next Mayor of London will take on board Recommendation 6.
Richard Edwards, Chair of the LTOA, said "our reps rightly and successfully highlighted the need to manage and protect the Urban Forest we already have as well as planting for the future".
Are you looking for research funding in 2015? Can Fund4Trees help?
Since 2011, Fund4Trees (F4T) has raised substantial funds and our focus is to allocate the money to innovative, practice-based grants and bursaries (see application details in box below).
To date F4T has part funded a high-powered microscope for Forest Research to better investigate acute oak decline and has contributed to the Trees & Design Action Group’s publication Trees in the Townscape: A Guide for Decision Makers. We will consider projects big and small for funding, as long as they meet F4T’s charitable objectives, which are to support sustainable treescapes by:
1. promoting for the benefit of the public the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment by promoting sustainable treescapes.
2. advancing the education of the public in the conservation, protection and improvement of trees in the physical and natural environment.
3. advancing research for the public benefit in all aspects of trees and to publish the useful results.
Fund4Trees is modelled on the Stihl Tour de Trees (stihltourdestrees.org) and was established in 2011 to organise fundraising events within the UK to raise money for UK-based urban tree research/best practice. Since that time a number of successful sponsored city bike rides have been organised – for example, in London, Birmingham and Glasgow – with well over 100 riders.
Fund4Trees is managed by a Board of Trustees with an independent Research Advisory Committee (RAC). The committee’s role is to evaluate the scientific merit of research proposals/bursaries and to advise the Board in regard to its funding. The RAC comprises a mix of research specialists and practitioners – Jon Banks, Jeremy Barrell, Roland Ennos, Gabriel Hemery, Jon Heuch and David Lonsdale. Jon Banks is the newest member of the team: he is the plant diagnostician for the Bartlett Tree Expert Company Ltd, has been involved in Bartlett research at the University of Reading since 2010 and is a member of the London Tree Officers’ Association’s Biosecurity Working Party.
“Arborists this is our industry and we look forward to your grant and bursary submissions so that Fund4Trees monies can be directed at worthwhile best-practice projects to enhance arboriculture within the UK”.
Grants and Bursaries
Fund4Trees offers research grants of £5,000 and bursaries of £500. Consideration will be given to all applications from those working in the arboricultural and forestry sectors.
For more information about how to apply, visit http://fund4trees.org.uk/grants-and-bursaries.
Shropshire based Tree Hunter Rob McBride, has set out to complete a ‘Tree-mendous challenge’: visiting all of the entrants in the European Tree of the Year (ETY) 2015 contest. This will take in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, France (Corsica), Spain and Belgium. http://www.treeoftheyear.org/Uvod.aspx
Mick Boddy (Trustee for F4T) says “Rob is a great ambassador for trees and their importance to our heritage and culture. We are very pleased to be able support this pan-European venture with a Fund4Trees travel and accommodation bursary.”
Since the ETY started 5 years ago over 1.1 million votes have been cast for the trees taking part in the contest. It has grown year on year and now has fourteen participating countries. The winning tree last year, an Elm tree from Bulgaria, polled over 77,000 votes. So, this year’s winning tree has some target to beat!
From the Environmental Partnership Association who organise the contest…
The purpose of the European Tree of the Year is to highlight the significance of old trees in the natural and cultural heritage that deserves our care and protection. Unlike other contests, the European Tree of the Year doesn't focus on beauty, size or age but rather on the tree's story and its connection to people. We are looking for trees that have become a part of the wider community.
Visit the organisers site here > http://www.environmentalpartnership.org/Home.aspx
One of the entrants is the Estonian Oak tree in the middle of the local football team’s pitch. The teams play around the tree using it as a passing wall to bounce passes off beating players with the old one two… or perhaps more of a one, two…TREE!
In the UK there are entrants from Wales, Scotland & England:
Wales has the amazing Lonely Tree of Llanfyllin. This well loved Scot’s Pine was sadly was blown over in February 2014. But, the tree is still partly alive and ‘phoenixing’: rising again from its now prostrate position.
Scotland. Rob has been given special access to visit the Scottish entrant, the Lady’s tree, a Scot’s Pine growing in a nature reserve at Loch of the Lowes near Dunkeld, Perthshire. The tree has a nest near the top which has been the home of Lady the Osprey for the last 24 years…there is also a much visited webcam from which you can see Lady and her many hatched chicks. http://www.treeoftheyear.org/Letosni-rocnik/Strom-Damy.aspx
England, and of course, Rob will visit the world famous Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, ’Robin Hood’s Oak tree’. After hosting the awards ceremony in the EU Parliament Brussels last year, Rob promised there would be an English tree in the contest for 2015, as there had not been an English entrant previously. The Woodland Trust has now, very successfully, taken on the task of bringing the English entrant to the contest. http://www.treeoftheyear.org/Letosni-rocnik/Velky-dub.aspx
He will cross the Irish Sea to visit the Irish tree entrant with its emotional story, in Ballinderry, Co. Tipperary. http://www.treeoftheyear.org/Letosni-rocnik/Libanonsky-cedr.aspx
(ii) Royal Forestry Society (Randle Travel Bursary) also provided sponsorship http://www.rfs.org.uk/