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Tree dispute reaches the end of the lime

PUBLISHED: 16:57 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 September 2010

A mature lime tree blamed for subsidence problems on Haslemere Road was removed by Haringey Council on Monday despite the objections of many residents who are not convinced that it is the real source of the trouble

Rob Antrim

A mature lime tree blamed for subsidence problems on Haslemere Road was removed by Haringey Council on Monday despite the objections of many residents who are not convinced that it is the real source of the trouble.

A team of workmen arrived early in the morning to deal with the tree, which stood near a corner of the council-owned Red Gables Family Centre. Its days were numbered two months ago when a notice signed by council arboriculturist Clare Carter suddenly appeared, telling residents that it would be removed because there was proof that it had contributed to damage to nearby properties.

On the same day, insurers told residents of nearby flats that underpinning work, due to start within 24 hours and estimated to cost them close to £100,000, had been abandoned because the council would be removing the tree. The council's earlier position had stated that there was no link between the tree and any damage to properties.

The axe fell as a new system was announced to help local authorities put a financial value on trees blamed by insurers for subsidence in buildings.

It was devised by Andy Tipping, chairman of the London Tree Officers' Association, who has valued one tree in Berkeley Square at £750,000. While most street trees would attract a value of about £12,000, a healthy, mature lime could be estimated at upwards of £35,000.

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