The majority of street trees in the north east section of King’s Cross are there because of the endeavors of one man, John Ashwell. John fundraised for the trees and liaised with Islington Council’s tree team to survey planting pits, procure, plant and maintain them. This week John is once again coming to rescue. He has provided a list of damaged trees to Islington Council with a request that action be taken.
John has asked that:
♦ Trees damaged by scaffolding on Railway Street should be replaced with semi mature specimens of the Liquidambar species and a full watering programme implemented during the summer months until the new trees are established.
♦ Remaining trees on Railway Street need to be professionally pruned.
♦ A tree that was enshrouded in scaffold for well over two years on Wharfdale Road is now largely dead – this is the first season coming into leaf since the scaffold was removed. The property developer should pay for a semi mature replacement with full watering cycle till it is established. These were the second batch of trees that John raised the money for and so have been gracing the street for over 10 years. It is wholly unacceptable that contractors should be allowed to damage street trees – especially when they have been funded by local residents.
♦ The tree adjacent to the Wharfdale Road bus stop now only one side branch remaining alive so is definitely in need of replacement.
The urban tree canopy enhances city life in so many ways. It cleans the air we breathe, gives us calming tree lined vistas and forms part of a fragile ecological system for urban wildlife that is battling against destruction by developers (for example loss of natural set planting on the canal towpath) and destructive residents feeling views from their individual windows are more important than our threatened shared green resource.