If you are considering tree work in your garden then it is best to check whether or not your property is located within a Conservation Area. If it is, then you will be required to submit a planning application to your local council’s Planning department. This also applies if your tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). It is always worth checking first as pruning or felling/dismantling a tree without prior permission from the council can result in a fine for both the owner of the tree and the tree surgeon. A simple call or email to the Planning department of your council and basic details proffered such as your address and/or the species of tree is all that is required. The council will then notify you as to the status of your area or tree. If you are fortunate to live within a Conservation Area or own a tree with a TPO then we can take care of the application on your behalf. We have carried out many jobs within Lambeth, Southwark, Wandsworth, Bromley, Croydon, and Tower Hamlets within Conservation Areas and worked on trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order. In Lambeth, where the majority of our work is undertaken, we are recommended by the Lambeth Planning Department as one of their recommended tree surgery companies for carrying out all types of tree work.
Silver Leaf Disease
Cherry, plum, greengage, apples and pears are trees that can suffer from a fungal disease called silver leaf,
It is spread by the wind to vulnerable neighbouring trees.
It is an international disease that affects a whole host of different trees and shrubs throughout the world however in the UK it is mainly confined to stone and pip fruiting trees.
Two trees that are highly susceptible to the disease are our native wild cherry, prunus avium and victoria plum,
prunus domestica spp.
As the name implies one way of identifying the disease is by the colour of the infected leaf.
A silver sheen is present upon the surface of the infected leaf.
It’s a good idea to compare with a healthy leaf.
The trees are usually infected either through pruning cuts or through storm damage where the wound is left open for pathogens to enter into the tree. Although we have been experiencing milder winters of late there has been a notable increase in the amount of storms that sweep across the country. Storm damage is difficult to mitigate against however good tree pruning techniques and timing are very important and are within our control.
To avoid your tree becoming infected with silver leaf you should have any maintenance work done during the warmer months namely mid-May to July. This is because the fungal spores are more active during colder and wetter periods. If you suspect your tree has the disease then it is a good idea to prune back any infected wood and to remove it from the garden as if left it can easily re-infect the tree. If it is possible to determine the source of the infection then these trees should be dismantled and removed to stop further contamination. Unfortunately, the timing of this work can coincide with the fruit ripening. My view is that one summer of fruit lost by pruning is far better than your tree unduly suffering and potentially dying. If the maintenance is carried out properly then there is a good chance that the tree will regain its health and vigour and fruit the following year.
What a glorious time of year it is when winter is behind us and the trees come out into blossom at the start of spring.
There can’t be many of you out there that have not witnessed the vibrant beauty of our native cherry trees at this time of year.
Ok, so there are colours out there during the colder months of the year from autumn flowering cherries,
prunus subhirtella autumnalis
to the golden and red colours of maples and alders during autumn and plenty of evergreens to break up the exposed skeletons of our deciduous tree canopy.
We even witnessed daffodils in full bloom whilst working in a garden in Clapham in mid-December.
However, nothing can really compare with the delicate white petals and beautifully perfumed scent of the wild cherry.
One of my best cherry blossom memories in both sight and smell was from two native wild cherries that adorned the entrance to Trees for Cities HQ (@Treesforcities) at the front of Kennington Park. It was always a real pleasure to arrive for work at a tree planting charity on a warm spring morning. If you are in the vicinity why not go and have a sniff for yourself!
Robert at the top anchor point of a eucalyptus tree