Those attending the recent Wapping Shindig might have noticed that the old Plane tree was looking a little bit bare.
Cllr. Denise Jones (Labour) was concerned too and raised a formal enquiry with Council officers.
“I would not want the great tree that has been pollarded so drastically cut down unless it becomes dangerous,” says Denise and I am sure we would agree.
The response from Rhodri Jones, Principal Arboricultural Officer for Tower Hamlets Council, is below and it seems the Plane tree could be good for another 100 years if properly maintained.
Response from Rhodri Jones
“The wider tree pruning on Wapping Green was requested by the Turks head Charity to assist and enable their forthcoming event known as the “Wapping Shindig”, to allow vehicle access and ensure that the trees have been checked over for safety and that there is adequate room and that sight lines are improved and statutory height levels are satisfied.
The health of the old Plane tree has been of concern to me for some years as it is in a state of decline that is simply due to its maturity.
The tree grows in a busy location and I had to decide whether to remove the tree on Heath and safety grounds as there is a risk of it collapsing, or take the conservation option of re-pollarding the tree.
There aren’t many older and historically pollarded trees like this one in Tower Hamlets and it seems good tree management to retain it as an historical pollard and monitor the tree every few years for further signs of decay and general health and safety.
With careful management it may be that it can survive for another 100 years or so in its reduced form and provide a focal point to Wapping Green.
I anticipate that we will prune the tree every two or three years to reduce any risk of collapse or branch failure and to stimulate new growth, although this may change depending on tree health and other imposing conditions.”