Community 'upset' after tree wrongly cut in half by council

The lime tree in Stroud Green's Parish Peace Garden following the work done on it by the council

The lime tree in Stroud Green's Parish Peace Garden following the work done on it by the council - Credit: Julian Hodgson

A mature lime tree in Stroud Green has been mistakenly shredded of its branches and drastically reduced in size, after Haringey Council failed to contact an external contractor in enough time to stop the work going ahead.

The tree, in the Peace Garden on the corner of Stapleton Hall Road and Granville Road, was to be felled by the council due to damage caused to an adjoining property. 

However, upon notifying locals about the planned work, Haringey Council was told by a resident that the Peace Garden belongs to the Holy Trinity Church, and so an internal request was made to cancel the job. 

As it transpired, the request was not completed in time to prevent the contractor beginning to fell the tree on January 27, with the work only halted due to intervention by residents. 

Giovanna Iozzi, a representative for the campaign group North London Tree Protectors (Haringey), said that herself and others in the community were “pretty angry” following the incident. 

Prior to the partial felling of the tree, Giovanna had set up an online petition to try to save both of the trees located on the land. 

She said the incident has weakened her case, and is indicative of the treatment of trees across the borough. 

“It was just gorgeous," she said. "It looks pretty abysmal now.” 

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The deputy leader of Haringey Council and cabinet member for the environment, transport and the climate emergency, Cllr Mike Hakata, said: “Our local trees are extremely important to us here at Haringey Council, just as we know they are to our communities and residents.  

“Trees contribute to cleaner air, greater biodiversity, and are vitally important for physical and mental health and wellbeing. 

“We sincerely apologise for the distress this incident has caused to local residents and the Stroud Green community at large. We are taking measures to ensure that something like this never happens again.” 

A spokesperson for the diocese of London said it was “saddened” by the damage to the tree, and praised the “quick intervention” of the local residents. 

The spokesperson added: “We are very grateful for the stewardship of the local residents, which is testament to the importance of the peace garden and its trees in the community.”