Saturday, 7 April 2012

Brockley Road Tree Planting Update

You may recall that last year we made a successful joint bid with the Brockley Society and Brockley Cross Action Group for Brockley Assembly funding for new trees along Brockley Road. I can now report that the installation of the trees happening as we speak! Rupert from the BXAG has provided an update on the works below:
Works have commenced on the tree planting project on Brockley Road, outside the main shopping parade.
Last year the Council widened the pavements outside the shops as part of a road safety project funded by TfL, but had no funds for any pavement enhancements. So BXAG teamed up with Transition Town Brockley, who submitted a successful bid to the Brockley Assembly for £4600 to cover the cost of new tree pits & trees along Brockley Road.
Following a series of meetings with Council officers we now have an agreed scheme to plant six trees, three on each of the pavement extensions. We would have liked to plant trees elsewhere on Brockley Road but there are underground services in most locations making the excavation of the tree pits impossible.
In a change from the usual single tree in a pit approach three trees will each be planted in a rectangular tree pit approx. 7 metres long by 1.2 metres wide, at 2 metre spacings. This will make a much greater impact and will create more of an “urban forest” effect. The bigger pits, with over 800mm depth of new topsoil, will provide more room for root growth and rainfall catchment so should give the trees a better chance of survival. The bigger pits will also enable the community to colonise them at a later date e.g. to plant spring flowering bulbs.
The tree species we have chosen is a lovely native tree Whitebeam (Sorbus aria), which has greyish green foliage, white flowers in early summer and red berries (much loved by birds) in autumn. They have an attractive shape and won’t grow too big, so there should be no worries about shade. They will be planted as large standard specimens up to 4 metres tall and will be protected against damage with ornamental tree guards. The overall appearance of the tree planting should really lift the public realm along Brockley Road and provide some much needed greenery.
We hope the Whitebeam tree will in time become Brockley’s main signature tree, planted e.g. around Brockley Cross and along Coulgate Street. This will help strengthen Brockley Cross’s identity.
The council have assured us the trees will be watered regularly as part of a contract. Watering may be something the community could also get involved in, to ensure our trees survive the inevitable droughts that will come our way.
The works should be completed by the end of March.
If you have any questions or comments please contact the BXAG via their website www.brockleycrossactiongroup.

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