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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Here is my choice of street trees from HC - I wonder if anyone has any ideas which one to go for?

choice of one of the following; Flowering cherry (Prunus Sunset Boulevard), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia Edulis), Whitebeam (Sorbus aria Lutescens) or Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier arborea)


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It's a complex decision, which is why the Council employ highly-trained arboriculturalists in the Tree Department  - they've very friendly and approachable and care passionately about our street trees (having planted many of them) so can give valuable context  - maybe consult them?  They are the ones providing the choice in the first place of course but they will get more specific if asked.

It all depends on what other trees are already nearby if you ask me.

You might want to consider the choice from the point of view of diversity.  Some species create a micro-climate that attracts far more wildlife than others. London Plane Trees are the least diverse, Oak trees amongst the most. Between these two sit your range of potential choices.

Tree Wardens run free tree walks thoughout the year, were you'll meet great people who know more about trees than I ever will - there's a walk coming up in Kenwood on 20th March - look for an announcement here: facebook.com/treewardens 

Hope that helps.

As the Whitebeam is native, and not as often planted as flowering cherry or Rowan, it's probably of most use to insects and birds and might bring a bit a tree diversity to your street. Write up on the Woodland Trust website below

It is good to see that the trees being suggested are all quite small (in their ultimate height).  If your house is around here standing on London clay, the last thing you need any where near your foundations is a tree that naturally seeks to grow into a forest giant (and that is what an oak or a London plane would try to do).  The same applies to most common wild species such as ash, sycamore, beech etc.  It sounds as though HC has woken up to the dreadful legacy of having lines of beautiful plane trees along urban streets, eg along Park Avenue North.  The damage they do is intolerable and the council's liability for the cost of keeping them small will go on for ever.  If you want to see how big they would grow if they weren't closely managed, look at the ones on the strip of ground along Priory Road at the end of Park Avenue North.  These ones are probably only 100 years old and have another couple of centuries still to grow.  If you are in the ladder (where the street trees will be only a few metres from your foundations), I would suggest that the council put any new tree into a brick lined pit to confine the roots.  This should protect your house and also prevent the tree growing too big.

Good suggestions Dick. A tree in our street is currently scheduled for removal as a survey last year held it responsible for subsidence in three properties (including mine)

I think I will take a walk around the streets to identify the trees, i know the rowan. I am veering towards 

 Snowy mespilus (Amelanchier arborea) as it seems to have all year interest


Not the greatest idea to go tree spotting this time of year as they're all bare!

Thanks for all the ideas

Would be bleak if they were all bare at this time of year (they're not)  but maybe this is a factor you might want to consider when choosing your tree.  For me, trees are worth looking at all year round :)

You can see quite a bit simply by looking at Street View.

The following Google map coordinates for example show:

51.588833, -0.127827  severely pollarded plane trees, in Park Avenue North

51.586851, -0.127645  unrestricted plane trees in Priory Road

51.582549, -0.101651  silver birch trees in Hewitt Road

51.583179, -0.102847  a rowan tree on Allison Road

51.578612, -0.101627  a pink hawthorn (?) on Cavendish Road (north side)

51.578614, -0.101578  an already too large plane tree (?) on Cavendish Road (south side)

The lower part of Burgoyne Road is a good example of what happens if inappropriate trees get planted.  There seem to be many large tree trunks that have had to be severely cut back in the hope that this will prevent damage to foundations.  The canopy of these trees (which appear to include planes and limes) would easily touch the house fronts if not curtailed.

So Dick, you seem very knowledgeable on the subject - what would your choice be?

I am more concerned about what to avoid, ie trees whose ultimate size is too large.  The four mentioned above (from Barchams) all seem to be cultivars that have been bred, hybridised or simply selected for their modest growth potential.  Provided this is the case, the choice is pretty much subjective.  This applies as much to cherry trees as the others.  I have seen cherry trees (both fruitung and ornamental) that were far too big for one of our local streets.  However, cherry trees can be grafted onto to less vigourous root stocks so suitable ones should be available.  We need to be sure that the Council's Tree department is aware of the risks of choosing unsuitable trees because there can be big cost implications for mistakes and we pay for them through our taxes and through our house insurance premiums.

Well I personally love cherry blossom. I grew up in a street with cherry trees and as a little girl would pretend to be a bride throwing up all the fallen blossom like confetti which my mother would curse at having to clear up! They were fruiting trees and the cherries were delicious but the cherry fuelled bird droppings were unbelievably corrosive and semi-permanently stained the pavements.



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