Tree surgeon fears of damaging expensive cars causing Hampstead parking problems

Tree pruning in Heath Drive Hampstead

Tree pruning in Heath Drive Hampstead - Credit: Nigel Sutton

How many times must a tree surgeon visit the same street to prune all the London planes?

Tree pruning in Heath Drive Hampstead

Tree pruning in Heath Drive Hampstead - Credit: Nigel Sutton

When the road is chock-a-block with flash cars and large driveways, the answer is apparently ‘lots’.

Tree surgeons have been arousing suspicion and a little dismay with their frequent appearances in Heath Drive in Hampstead – bringing with them all the inconvenience of repeatedly suspending parking bays that this entails.

One Hampstead businessman found it so fishy that he turned to Heathman for moral support.

“Why only Heath Drive?” asked Arvind Mistry, owner of Belsize Stationers in South End Road, who uses the road on delivery runs.

“I have been driving on this road for 20 years and parking is suspended every few months. Is it because Camden Council is trying to catch drivers out for parking?”

As it turns out, a handful of residents with fancy motors and private drives could be to blame.

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The tree surgeons, it seems, are so terrified of damaging the privately-parked BMWs and Mercedes with falling branches that when the cars are not moved as requested, they simply have to pack up and come back another day.

Calvert Scott, contracts manager at City Suburban Tree Surgeons, who was back in Heath Drive on Friday, says it is one of the trickiest pruning patches in Camden.

He told Heathman: “If people park in their driveways, we can’t prune the trees so we have to keep going back. It’s not worth the risk because we could damage the motor vehicles. They are all Mercedes and BMWs – a claim for just one of them would be worth more than what we get paid for the whole road.”

Despite being sent pleading letters, many residents keep failing to move their cars out of the firing line. Consequently, the firm has made three visits this year and the job is still unfinished.