Trees on our streets

Looking after our street trees

Kingston Council manages 12,000 trees on streets, plus other trees in parks, green spaces and housing estates. Each street tree is inspected once every three years. We remove dead, decaying and diseased trees; prune and maintain trees as required and plant new ones. Overall, we aim to increase the number of trees in the borough every year.

Our Tree Strategy outlines our policies on management of street trees.

Street tree maintenance

To maintain tree health and maintain an appropriate size for an urban setting, many trees need regular pruning. We inspect all trees and carry out any maintenance once every three years and carry out any required maintenance. Additional pruning only takes place if there is a health and safety need, however where street trees overhang your property, you may cut branches back to the boundary line (but no further).

Some species such as the London plane and lime require intensive and regular pruning. This is to keep them in reasonable condition, whilst controlling crown spread and minimising root activity. This is good arboricultural practice and the trees will put on new growth relatively quickly. For example, the London plane trees below on Elgar Avenue, were pruned (left) and quickly grew back within weeks (right).

image   image

Pruning Schedule

The pruning schedule is divided up, ward by ward over a three year period. All wards have different issues when it comes to the size and species of trees in their streets. For example, it is very intensive pruning the large maple trees in St Mark's ward, or the lime trees in Grove ward. We divide the schedule so that the pruning of all street trees is spread over a three year period.

The cyclical maintenance programme ensures that every three years appropriate work is undertaken to every street tree. As part of the cyclical maintenance programme we work on approximately 4,000 street trees per year. This doesn't include responsive and emergency works.

The below table shows the cyclical works schedule by ward. 

Ward

Season

Year

St James

April-Aug

2019

Chessington South

April-Aug

2019

Norbiton

April-Aug               

2019

Berrylands

Sept-March

2019-2020      

Alexandra

Sept-March

2019-2020

Coombe Vale

Sept-March

2019-2020

Coombe Hill

April-Aug

2020

Canbury

April-Aug

2020

Surbiton Hill

Sept-March

2020-2021

Beverley

Sept-March

2020-2021

Tolworth & Hook Rise

Sept-March

2020-2021

Old Malden

April-Aug

2021

Chessington North & Hook

April-Aug

2021

Grove

Sept-March

2021-2022

St Marks

Sept-March

2021-2022

Tudor

Sept-March

2021-2022

Trees in parks and open spaces 

Trees in parks and open spaces are inspected annually by our Environment Team, with pruning works carried out for health and safety reasons only.