Friday, October 12, 2012
Street trees on Olton Boulevard East
The trees along here will be pruned up to a height of about 6m and will have basal growth removed.
It was a particularly interesting meeting from the point of view of somebody whose gardening knowledge is limited, to say the least. The old policy of pollarding trees of a certain age has now been replaced by one where the overall tree shape will be maintained, but this is only carried out as required - probably every 15 years or so. Pollarding actually leads to more aggressive growth and leaf fall and attracts more aphids. More regular maintenance involves controlling the basal growth - the sprouting around the base of the trunk - and lifting the crown (which will be done to the trees on Olton Boulevard). This removes the lower levels of branches and twigs to give improved ground clearance. Trees will also be dealt with where they are threatening to damage property, but they are not pruned for light reasons or to improve television reception for properties behind the trees.
The Amey contract has also led to considerably greater clarity about what species of trees can be used on the highway and where they can be planted. Large central reservations will be planted with a range of trees, but traditional street trees will be restricted to a small number of species that are suitable. As it is contractual, it is also binding on developers, so trees that exhibit 'antisocial behaviour' in terms of other residents or road users can be properly controlled.