Dogs Vs. Trees

Pe05985__2 For those of us who have grown up with dogs as pets, one of those fun passtimes has aways been having your dog fetch sticks. But now there seems to be a new activity for those dog owners that seem to be more "yobishly challanged." It is encouraging your dog to gnaw at young trees with the intent of destroying them. Yes, I do not lie.

We have now had a number of reports of someone allowing their dog to attack some of the trees planted on Railway Street with the effect of destroying them. When this problem was raised with the folks from Greenspace, they had this to say:

The kind of dog damage you describe is unfortunately becoming more and more common, though not quite as blatant as Railway Street. It seems to be one of the more recent trends to have a Staffordshire type terrier and train them (to what end???) by getting them to chew on trees. Obviously, the implication must be that if you own a "hard" dog, then you yourself are "hard". Perhaps it’s a sign of my old age, but I find such behaviour risible and very, very frustrating.

At first thought, my simple solution to the problem would be to coat the base of the trees with RAT POISON, but on second thought, that would simply punish the dog and the dog is not the problem (but then how could we apply the Rat Poison to the owner). So short of having a vigilante committee to "sort" these people out and "re-educate" them, I’m now stumped. What do you think we should do. Please post your comments here. We can send the good ones to Boris for immediate action.

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5 Responses to Dogs Vs. Trees

  1. Sara McGrail says:

    Maybe you’re not aware of the case of the dog who was poisoned in Bingfield park earlier this year, or maybe you are …. either way the rat poison reference is very unpleasant.

  2. John Ashwell says:

    Maybe its time to campaign for bringing back dog licencing in London – that way one may find dog ownership being largely restricted to more upstanding and responsible citizens in society – as this sort of thing is clearly the fault of the owner, and they clearly do not deserve to own pets if they are being treated in this way!

    And perhaps we should wrap the more vulnerable trees in wire mesh to prevent a dog from knawing at it – unsightly in the short term, but better for all in the longer term – how about a local residents work party to get it done. It would hardly cost much – especially in light of the many thousands of pounds stumped up already by local residents and businesses to get the trees planted. This will be the third time I am having to arrange for the replanting of trees along Railway Street!

  3. Patrick Swan says:

    Two suggestions:

    Tree guards – it would be cheaper in the long run. We are £2000 in credit for tree guards and it’s less expensive than constantly replanting trees.

    Cameras – is our neighbourhood not festooned with security cameras? Not that they are much use from what those of us who attend the Caledonian Safer Neighbourhood Police meetings know, but could we request a dispensation for street tree surveillance wherever possible? It is minor crime, but that’s what drives us all mad.

  4. Sarah Ward says:

    As previously mentioned – some very robust guards!

    Sniper set up in Balfe St over-looking the trees?

    Electrify the tree guards?

    This type of thing really does depress me…

  5. Mike Jackson says:

    From: Mike Jackson 13/5/2008

    This has indeed become a very common sight. One solution is to wrap some wire netting around the base of the trees in a secure way. Obviously this will have to be checked periodically to ensure that the expanding girth isn’t strangulated by the netting.

    One other suggestion I would like to press is a cheap and simple solution to people snapping young trees. If a yard broom handle is tied with spacers and tree ties to the young trunk (not inserted into the ground) it will hamper their efforts because theyare made from hardwood and almost impossible to snap. The cost would be negligible and it would be a simple, quick solution. Can we put pressure on Islington / Camden Parks to trial this as an experiment?

    Mike Jackson Dip Hort (Kew)
    Flat 1 Battlebridge Court, Wharfdale Road N1 9UA
    Head of Social Enterprise Development and Training
    at Camden Garden Centre

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