Monday, 2 March 2015

2015 spring - record new street tree plantings

With the dwindling funds available for Lewisham Council to replace and plant new street trees, local residents have been coming on board in ever greater numbers to purchase/part-fund new trees for their streets. 

This year, along with a host of individuals, households and neighbourly collectives, we have also been greatly helped by an extremely generous individual donor who has come forward. We were also successful in making an application to the Brockley Ward Assembly for funds. 

All told, we are just completing the planting of THIRTY SIX new street trees in and around the conservation area. This is an amazing achievement, and we are hopeful that we can continue this level of planting in the coming year. What is also evident is that the model is spreading out to other parts of the borough, including St Johns, Ladywell and Crofton Park. 

In the current planting season, 17 out of the 36 plantings which we have facilitated are actually outside the conservation area, specifically in the following streets - Arabin Road, Brockley Cross, Ermine Road, Malpas Road, Millmark Grove, Shardeloes Road, and Strickland Street. In the previous two planting seasons, the figure is 11 trees outside the conservation area, out of 16 total planted. So as you can see, we are doing our best to cast our net as widely as possible (details of where these new trees have been planted will be uploaded to the map on the "New Plantings" tab on our blog in due course). 

One of three Juneberry trees (Snowy Mespilus) planted in 
Breakspears Road on February 6th, with members of the Glendale 
planting team that work with Lewisham Council, and Nicola 
Ferguson of Brockley Society Tree Committee
Realistically, with the ongoing losses of existing street tree stock (due to old age and disease), this is the only way we will maintain the leafy character of our streets and ensure that the local street environment is maintained and, hopefully, enhanced. 

With thanks to Lewisham Council's Green Scene team and Glendale, their contractors, for their work in getting these trees in the ground over the last few weeks.

Postscript: an earlier version of this post suggested that these three trees planted in Breakspears Road were sweet almonds. Sadly, this was not the case as we discovered when we checked the actual planting schedule, but the Juneberry, or Amelanchiers Lamarckii, is also a beautiful early flowering small tree - it has bright red berries that the birds feast on in late May, early June. 


  1. Perhaps if some of the large sum of money spent on diagnosing trees as "diseased" ought to be spent on re-planting. I am always suspicious about how this area seems to be so blighted with so many trees that need expensive treatment and that are supposed to pose a danger to people or property, and how rarely local residents are ever involved or informed about this work. What's the justification? How many people have been hurt by falling trees? How much damage has been done by falling branches? I can't be the only person wanting to see more evidence for the validity and necessity of this work before it's done.

    1. BrocSoc Tree Committee4 March 2015 at 09:42

      Dear Anonymous,

      Contrary to popular belief, the team at Lewisham Council work extremely hard to maintain our street trees, and are just as disappointed as residents when trees have to be removed. The sad fact is that many of the street trees in the conservation area (and beyond) are now coming to the end of their natural lives and, in the process, succumbing to various diseases, mostly Ganoderma - a fungus that particularly attacks our flowering cherry trees. This weakens the tree internally, and will eventually result in the tree rotting and collapsing. In common with many public institutions in these litigious times, there is a policy of proactive action to prevent a situation in which the council is potentially liable for damage caused by diseased trees. This is not common to Lewisham Council by any means.

      We hope you will enjoy the new trees that are being planted and thank you for your interest in our work.


      BrocSoc Tree Committee

  2. Does anyone know what type of tree has just been planted 2/3 of the way up Tyrwhitt Road?

    1. Brockley Society Tree Committee9 March 2015 at 15:58

      Hello Anonymous. Yes, it is a Ginko Biloba.


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