Trees and woodlands form an important part of the green infrastructure of the borough. Barnet is renowned for being one of the greenest suburbs in London, with the council having responsibility for around 30,000 street trees and 848 hectares of green spaces, which includes 164 hectares of woodland.
Trees are one of the few assets that appreciate in value with age as their amenity and contribution to health and wellbeing increases.
Trees can alleviate and mitigate air pollution by accessing the chemical components of the pollutants, or by reducing the amount of pollution through the leaves and branches until is washed away by rainfall.
Providing habitat for a range of wildlife, from microbes to birds and bats, trees contribute hugely to biodiversity in urban areas. Habitat potential will be considered especially in greenspaces and `bee-friendly` trees planted in parks where appropriate.
Economic and Social benefits
Benefits to human health and wellbeing can be associated with woodland, green space and trees. Trees provide security, shelter and privacy to residents, they reduce temperatures and block sunlight being absorbed by roads. Trees also increase property values, reduce road traffic accidents and reduce noise levels. They reduce the risk of localised flooding, this ability has been greatly increased in Barnet with the use of permeable surfacing around tree roots.
Our tree policy
We have recently published our Tree Policy, this contains a background to the trees we manage and our aspirations for the future. This policy won the Mayor of London’s Borough award in 2019.
Barnet is midway through a five year plan to increase the number of trees and canopy cover across the borough. There are four strands of planting we are focusing on each year, they are;
- Replacing trees that are removed
- Strengthening the landscape by planting avenues and specimen trees in greenspaces
- Addressing urban warming.
- Planting in areas of poor air quality
Replacement planting will follow a three year cycle where 50 per cent of trees removed during any financial year will be replaced, with 25 per cent in the second year and the final 25 per cent in the third year.
The council`s tree service manages trees in streets, parks and open spaces.
The tree service routinely inspects street and parks trees on a three-year cycle on a ward by ward basis. At least seven wards are inspected each year. Inspections are undertaken by trained arboriculturists who identify any defects and hazards. Where necessary the surveyors will prescribe tree pruning to reduce risk and nuisance issues. In parks, trees are managed to maximise their landscape, amenity and wildlife value.
Report a problem with a street or park tree
If you have any concerns about a tree on council land, please contact us with location details and a member of our team will investigate your concern.
Telephone: 020 8359 4600
Report unsafe trees
If you're reporting storm damage or are concerned that a tree may be unsafe, please contact us giving as much detail, as soon as possible such as:
- size of the tree
- possible risks
- a photograph of the tree
- Monday to Friday 020 8359 3096 and from 5pm 020 8359 2000
- Saturday and Sunday 020 8359 2000
Trees on private land are the responsibility of the landowner. The Arboricultural Association has a list of approved tree surgeons and contractors that cover the whole of the UK.
Footway disruption by tree roots
The maintenance of our roads are the responsibility of our Highways Team. If tree roots are disrupting the footway and you consider this might cause any difficulties, please use the contact details below.
Telephone: 020 8359 3555
Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
Information on how to check if a tree:
- has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
- how to apply for works to a tree with a TPO
- apply for a TPO
Common tree pests and diseases
The more common issues currently faced by trees are:
Oak Processionary Moth
This has recently arrived in the UK and poses a risk to both human and to a lesser degree, tree health. The caterpillar feeds on oak tree and their hairs can cause itching, rashes and, less common, sore throats, breathing difficulties and eye irritation.
The council is working in conjunction with the Forestry Commission to keep this pest under control
Barnet has very few ash trees and as these are in urban areas, the impact of ash dieback is less serious that in rural areas. This disease overwinters in fallen leaves, so clearing leaves reduces the risk of infection.
For more information regarding fungi, pests or diseases, please visit the Forest Research website. https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/pest-and-disease-resources/