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.
Poland is a nation with a rich and proud tradition of public protest and activism, some of which has received recent media attention in the UK. Attempts by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party to give control of judicial appointments to the government, threatening the independence of the judiciary, were met with significant public protests when first proposed in the summer of 2017. In October of the same year more than 100,000 Polish women took to the streets in response to PiS attempting to change abortion law to make the procedure entirely illegal. Further back in history, one of the most powerful examples of citizen power in the country must be the work of the Solidarity movement which was so influential in the 1989 fall of communism in Poland. All examples of ordinary people fighting against the system.
Written by Colleen O’Sullivan, Tree Officer, London Borough of Camden and first published in the Arb magazine Winter 2017
The London Tree Officers Association recently visited the city of Turin, Italy on the 12-13 October for a fantastic, jam-packed two day tour of the city. The visit was held in collaboration with the Turin Municipality through their Forestry Manager Gianmichele Cirulli.
The purpose of the trip was to further learn about the processes and systems in place in Turin to cope with Cerastocyctis platani, or canker stain of plane (CSP). This follows a visit to London by Gianmichele in December 2015, where he presented at an LTOA seminar about CSP. Nine members of the LTOA were able to attend, a mix of London tree officers, a Municipal Tree Officers Association tree officer and associate members.
The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) is an organisation that represents and supports Local Authority tree officers. Local Authorities are by their nature political organisations which have to balance many conflicting priorities. One of the principal roles of a tree officer is to ensure that trees are seen as one of these priorities and that the benefits of trees are understood within their organisation. One of the principal roles of the LTOA is to help and empower tree officers to make these arguments and achieve these aims.
It must be acknowledged and accepted that on occasion councils can and do make political decisions that we do not agree with. However, it is the policy of the LTOA to not criticise individual councils for these decisions. To do so would compromise the position of our member tree officers, all of whom themselves represent the councils in which they work. Making public criticisms of council activities would undermine our ability as an organisation – and the ability of our members – to influence decisions in the future.
The ongoing situation in Sheffield is of obvious concern to many and has rightly attracted widespread attention. The understanding of the LTOA is that part of the problem in Sheffield has been caused by the fact that street trees are no longer being managed by tree officers, but that responsibility for this function has been outsourced to a private contractor. It should be noted that in those departments of Sheffield Council which still employ tree officers some fantastic work is being done. The LTOA support the suggestion that in order to enjoy a healthy population of urban trees, it is essential to also have a healthy population of urban tree officers. The situation in Sheffield serves to demonstrate how important this is.
Needless to say this position does not restrict any individual members from campaigning or signing any petition or undertaking any other activity in their own name or as a representative of their employer. We have no doubt that as professional arboricultural experts and tree lovers, many of our members will choose to do just that.