Muswell Hill and Highgate residents furious over tree work

A freshly 'pollarded' tree on Muswell Hill Road yesterday

A freshly 'pollarded' tree on Muswell Hill Road yesterday - Credit: Tamara Cincik

Residents in Haringey are furious about their street trees being cut back, and are asking whether the work has any benefit.

A tree undergoing work on Cromwell Avenue this morning

A tree undergoing work on Cromwell Avenue this morning - Credit: Anousheh Barbezieux

People in both Muswell Hill Road, in Muswell Hill, and Cromwell Avenue in Highgate have told the Ham&High of their anger at seeing the trees being “pollarded” over the last few days.

The process involves removing the upper branches of the tree, and is commonly done to plane trees. According to the Royal Horticultural Society, over time the practice limits the tree’s height to the level it has been cut back to.

Anousheh Barbezieux, who lives on Cromwell Avenue said the work taking place angered her.

“All I was looking forward to was our trees in bloom. It feels like we’ve had a ten month winter, and they are doing it now they have bloomed.”

After being pollarded, the trees will usually reach full re-growth in two years. However this doesn’t change the situation for her.

“I don’t care about two years. I want my trees now. I’m very upset.”

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Tamara Cincik, who lives on Muswell Hill Road, opposite Highgate Wood is similarly frustrated by the work.

“It is a really ineffective system to prune trees. We don’t want it done. I don’t think it works, it’s not hitting traffic or disturbing people, it is cutting down the leaves that birds have nested in, which is destroying their habitat.”

She also accused one of the workers carrying out the work on Muswell Hill Road yesterday of being sexist.

“I’ve lodged a complaint with Haringey Council that a guy called me ‘love’. It’s 2018. It’s off-putting way to stop people asking questions that they don’t want to answer.”

A spokeswoman for Haringey Council said: “Trees in Cromwell Avenue, in common with other roads in Haringey that are prone to subsidence, are pollarded on a three-yearly cycle. These works are usually carried out during the winter months, but bad weather this year led to some delays to the pollarding programme.

“The trees in Cromwell Avenue are London Plane and Lime trees, which will tolerate pruning at any point in the year.

“No parking signs, with notification of pollarding works, were displayed on the trees in advance of pollarding being carried out.”

The council’s spokeswoman also said they are looking into a complaint in relation to a worker who was carrying out tree pollarding work on behalf of the council.