Looking out for our street trees

Do you live on the Southwark side of Herne Hill? Are you interested in trees?

A small group of residents has recently started organising an informal network of volunteers - often known as Tree Wardens - to keep an eye on their street trees, help care for them, report maintenance issues, look out for dead or dying trees and identify places where new trees are needed.

The council and its contractors do the initial planting and maintenance and any tree surgery, of course, but there are hundreds of street trees here and problems can quickly build up.

Saplings can suffer and die in dry weather unless they’re regularly watered. Mature trees can be held back by stakes, cages and tree ties that have been in place too long. Low branches and suckers at the base of a tree can hinder pedestrians. Stumps have to be removed. Disease, decay, defects, damage and dead trees need to be reported fast. And gaps in the tree cover along our streets need to be filled.

Up to now we’ve been watering fragile young trees, applying for council funding to plant new specimens and reporting problems before they become serious. But we’re hoping to expand into minor maintenance jobs if we can get official backing from Southwark’s tree officers.

We’re looking for more volunteers to help with monitoring and watering the trees on their street, and also a representative to be the main point of contact for each street.

The streets we’re aiming to cover are:

Ardbeg Road, Beckwith Road, Carver Road, Casino Avenue, Danecroft Road, Elfindale Road, Elmwood Road, Frankfurt Road, Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, Hollingbourne Road, Holmdene Avenue, Howletts Road, Red Post Hill, Ruskin Walk, Sunray Avenue, Warmington Road and Wyneham Road.

If you’d like to join us or to find out more about our proposals for new trees, please email jeff.segal@ntlworld.com or paulmillington7@yahoo.com.