The database has 310 entries and even so many of the lesser trees are not individually itemised but listed within groups/parcels. Fifty trees are on the order and the inspection details are for only those 50, all others being ‘no action’ on the present inspection cycle.

A few explanatory notes.

  • Many work entries are ‘clear Ivy’, etc, in order that we can examine trees adequately for hazard features (which as we all know are also the most significant features for bio-diversity, habitat, etc,).
  • The risk ‘categories’ can be a little misleading. One would certainly take action if the risk of scaffolding around a building collapsing was described as ‘slight’. I’d suggest we would not accept such an occurrence.
  • Few of the condition assessments list ‘habitat features’ That is because few exhibited them.
  • ‘Copparding’ (pollard/coppice) features quite widely. This is to retain the parts of the tree likely to have habitat features while removing sound young growth of low value/high cost if left too long.
  • Where habitat features are visibly present the work specification notes the requirement for care, but generally (eg 68.00) those parts are excluded from work – although other parts of the same tree may be worked.

With the major works now finished we shall be re-inspecting with the benefit of visibility of stems and bases and, later, better visibility of higher parts of the stems and crown breaks, etc, as Ivy foliage dies off.  Bird nesting opportunities will be reduced for this season without a doubt in the buffer strip on the northern boundary but in even the medium term we can look to advantages particularly in reduction of the need for disruptive frequent ‘ad hoc’ tree work visits and emergency work.  Whether we will get any regeneration other than bramble, Ivy and young Ash is debateable but – please correct me if I’m wrong – young coppice which we can manage cheaply on a fairly short rotation, will have its own benefits – especially if we can harness volunteer participation to control the initial spread of Ivy, Bramble (and Bay?).

Lastly, the eastern section of the northern boundary is without mature trees with holes, splits, tears, loose bark and such useful features.  We shall shortly be thinning the younger stems by around 20-30% and reducing some of the overhangs into gardens. This will be funded from our 19/20 budget as this year’s is exhausted.  I hope to achieve all that before Ash ‘s late flush.

Comments welcome.


Dave Lofthouse

Dip. Arb. (RFS) M.Arbor.A.

Arboricultural Manager Greenspaces

London Borough of Merton

8th Floor Civic Centre London Rd , SM4 5DX

0208 545 3659/0790 1510 496

Please click below to view Condition & Works performed Report

20190307 – Park (Horse Close Woods) (PAR) – Condition & Works performed Report