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Meeting with Southwark’s Tree Officer

After a few attempts at enticing a Southwark tree officer to the park to have a walkabout and discuss tree management in the wood, we struck gold with the new Tree Officer for Parks, Ian Williams. He kindly gave up a good chunk of his morning to walk round with Jasia, William and Jonathan to discuss how we should be managing the wood and what support we could get from his team.

It was pouring with rain but we started off in the park where we looked at the vandalised fruit trees. The main points here were:

  •  cut off any broken branches with an angled clean cut to avoid rain getting in to the broken stem and rotting the tree from the inside out
  • consider moving the trees further away from the path if re-planting
  • we identified  3 trees that really needed replacing and a fourth that wasn’t doing great
  • branches that are snapped but still are attached to the stem can be bound with tape in the hope that the tree will heal the damage and graft the branch back on

We then continued into the wood. Here the main points were:

  • removal of holm oak is less crucial than removal of the false acacia young trees
  • as the holm oak stumps start to re-shoot, it’s a good idea to cut off the new shoots and hope that eventually the stump and roots will die from lack of light / food
  • the wood would benefit from some selective thinning
  • the council do not have the budget to undertake management work of the kind that the wood requires. Ian said he would try and include us in his budget for a few year’s time for some basic maintenance work

Many thanks to Ian for his advice.

A soggy tree walkabout
Inspecting the damage done by vandals to the orchard



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