Kingston Council to plant hundreds of new trees this winter

Kingston Council has finalised plans to plant 540 new trees across the borough by March 2021.

Three hundred and forty-seven of them will be planted in positions which were chosen by residents in a two-month consultation earlier this year.

Caroline Kerr, leader of Kingston Council, said: “We’re committed to creating a cleaner, greener Kingston and ensuring both our streets and open spaces can be enjoyed, by generations to come.”   

The scheme is part of a wider environmental campaign by the council, which saw new cycle lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods put in place over the summer.

New Trees could be harmful to the local environment

Some members of the local authority have criticised the plans saying that too many old but healthy trees are being cut down.

Green Party councillor Sharron Sumner said: “I strongly believe if we’re to slow climate change, councils need to stop felling healthy trees and replacing them with smaller new trees which don’t contribute to cleaning our air or shading our streets anywhere near as efficiently.”

The Council says only trees that are dying, diseased, unsafe or causing damage to property are removed and they are inspected by a qualified arboriculturist before a decision to remove them is made.

According to the Council, 164 of 166 trees they removed over the last financial year were either dying or diseased with the other two being vandalised.

But Sumner says that these figures cannot be relied upon.

“I’m contacted by residents across the borough about the council felling healthy trees, I’m very fortunate in knowing a number of highly experienced arboriculturists that will visit threatened trees and document their true condition,” said Sumner.

The position of each of the new trees can be found here.

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