Help Save Stroud Green Plane Tree

Help Save Stroud Green Plane Tree

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John Syz started this petition

Help us save the 100-year-old Stroud Green Plane and other mature trees threatened in our unique conservation area by Haringey Council.

Despite weeks of community pleas with Haringey to find a solution to saving this veteran Plane tree, the council are moving ahead with the plan to fell it imminently.

Our community is against it, and residents near the tree are sympathetic to our protest. We have the wider support of our ward councillors, but we feel stuck between the council who say they don’t have the resources or will to challenge the claim and the demands of the insurers one of whom we have been told is Allianz Plc, one of the world’s largest insurers.

Stroud Green, is in a Conservation Area and has a unique number of mature London Plane trees, which are of an incalculable amenity value to our community. Many of these trees are increasingly threatened by insurance companies and a Council who doesn’t seem to have a robust strategy to fight these claims and seems all too ready to capitulate.

Demands from insurers means the Tree Department will be forced into tighter pollarding cycles, including a practice called topping (removal of the crown of a tree) which can severely impact tree health. Pollarding too frequently and severely (stripping leaves and branches) reduces a tree's ability to cool streets, disperse flood water, absorb carbon and provide safe habitats for birds and other species. 

More than 30 trees are threatened in Stroud Green at the moment due to insurance claims, 20 on one street alone. We are extremely alarmed at the prospect of gradually losing most of our mature trees.

Haringey's and neighbouring boroughs' housing is built on clay soil which swells and contracts more frequently than other sandy soils. As the Climate Crisis deepens, this impact gets much worse, meaning more cracks in our houses and buildings  –  at the moment trees are simply taking the blame for it. The tragedy is, it’s often easier and cheaper for Councils to fell trees. 

But we are in a Climate Emergency and we all know we NEED OUR TREES! We need our council to fight back for our veteran trees! They help reduce CO2 and pollution, and are a fundamental element of our urban ecology which will help us resolve the climate crisis we are in.

The stranglehold of insurers on our street trees.

Allianz PLC’s  ‘Environmental Responsibility’ page states ‘For us, countering climate change and limiting global warming is a priority and something we are taking active steps to achieve.’ They also write they are proud to be the ‘number one insurer in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and a ‘founding member of the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance.’  But their sustainability claims and green plaudits don’t seem to have reached the protection of trees in Stroud Green. Sounds like a lot of greenwash to us. 

What we’re asking for: 

We want a genuinely meaningful ‘co-productive’ meeting at a mutually convenient time and place for local residents, Haringey’s Tree Department and the Council's Deputy Leader and Environment Cabinet Responsible Mike Hakata to discuss this tree and the other trees threatened in our area where residents can debate the issues, obtain full transparency of the processes involved here and ask questions.

Complete transparency on why this tree has to be felled with full access to all structural engineering and arboricultural reports.

We ask Haringey Council to conduct another completely independent survey on this tree – where we can monitor the tree for another year – the last survey inspection appears to be in 2019.

We ask for a full financial breakdown of the costs indicated– the council says in order to save the tree it will cost them £400,000.  

We ask the tree department to show us their revised tree plan and strategy for areas such as Stroud Green. How can they strengthen protections for trees against insurance companies?

Increase soil space around trees. Haringey needs to mitigate against tree losses with preventative measures to increase the absorption of ground water around tree bases. Too many trees are left with no soil around their bases - all trees need inspections to see their roots are not being compromised by tarmac or concrete.

Residential watering programme for areas such as Stroud Green. How can we help the Council save our trees?

How many street trees being removed still results in houses having to be underpinned? Every tree removed needs a replacement. This is supposed to be a pledge from Haringey but is simply not happening.

HOW TO SAVE THIS PLANE TREE AND 30 OTHERS THREATENED IN OUR AREA.  

WE need as many of you to write to the council leaders as we can – and spread the word – to get those with the money to properly allocate money to tree protection in the borough.

(also write to the whole cabinet – 10 members now – final roles announced May 23. https://www.haringey.gov.uk/local-democracy/how-decisions-are-made/cabinet/cabinet-members)

Who to contact?

Email separately asap the following 5 people – (POINTS TO MAKE BELOW):

Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, and Deputy Leader of the Council, Haringey Council, Mike Hakata: mike.hakata@haringey.gov.uk 

CEO of Haringey Council: andy.donald@haringey.gov.uk

Finance director, Jon Warlow: jon.warlow@haringey.gov.uk 

Leader of the council, Peray Ahmet: peray.ahmet@haringey.gov.uk

Head of Environment & neighbourhoods, Stephen McDonnell: stephen.mcdonnell@haringey.gov.uk

IN YOUR EMAILS mention the tree, our area, 18 trees threatened with Insurance claims on THIS road, Oakfield Road, N4, alone, more than 30 in the area, 200 current claims across Haringey.  Community are in uproar. Haringey has 40,000+ trees – and we need more money for them!! We have lost 3000 street trees since 2008.

Trees need to be viewed as valuable infrastructure just like roads and schools – shift much more money to this department and the needs of mature existing trees and green spaces. Borrow more money from budget to pay insurers for these claims as ‘infrastructure money.’

New leader Peray Ahmet wants Haringey to be the ‘greenest borough’ in London in next 4 years, so this tree and our conservation area is the first test case to start making that change.  Now is the time to start acting on these words. (Deputy leader, Mike Hakata claims he wants an extra £10million for trees from the finance dept.)

We're in a biodiversity crisis, a pollution crisis and a climate crisis – and governments all over the world are recognising the vital work of trees in trying to mitigate against this - therefore Haringey should ACT.

Trees dept need more staff and resources, until just recently, there were just 2 members of staff (now 4 we believe) and a bigger budget, Hackney have 11.

Communities stand ready to fight for their trees – but also help retain them by watering/irrigation programmes and maintaining their health in groups.

INSURANCE COMPANY - @allianzuknews commercialcomplaints@allianz.co.uk 

ALSO CONTACT HARINGEY TREE DEPT

Alex.fraser@haringey.go.uk Tree Manager

Clare.pappalardo@haringey.gov.uk – Senior Tree Officer

 

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