Council owned trees

Tree works and removals

Dead, diseased and decaying trees

Trees are not static; they are living, dynamic, ever changing and susceptible to events including lack of rainfall, poor soils and pollution. Removing dead or dying trees is part of the proactive tree management of a council.

The removal of a publicly owned tree in a street or park in our borough means that the tree is dead or dying, diseased, unsafe or demonstrated to be causing subsidence damage.

In Kingston, 166 trees were removed in the financial year 2019/20. All but two trees removed were dead, diseased or decayed. The remaining two trees had been vandalised to the point that they were unsafe and/or would not survive.

Tree removals in 2019/20

Inspection type Vandalised Diseased/decayed Dead Total
Cyclical     7 7
Responsive 2 49 58 109
Emergency       50
Total 2 49 65 166

Trees have a limited lifespan and it is important that dead, diseased, decaying or structurally unstable trees are removed. This protects the health of nearby trees, and the safety of residents and their property. Trees tend to decline at the end of their lives, we care for dying specimens, (e.g. gradual crown reduction) but we can only delay, rather than prevent the inevitable removal of the trees.

Diseased trees can often appear to be perfectly healthy, but a detailed inspection by a qualified arboriculturalist can reveal problems that are not obvious to the untrained eye.

The Council considers all tree removal carefully - each tree that is removed is inspected individually by our qualified arboriculturist before a decision is made.

Every year our Environment team undertake a survey of all trees on the highway, in council housing estates and in parks and open spaces. As part of this survey, dead, dying and diseased trees are identified for removal.

Tree and stump removal are completed as separate operations due to the types of equipment involved. Trees stumps are usually removed up to two months after a tree has been felled. Occasionally a temporary reinstatement of tarmac is applied for an interim period if re-planting is due to take place later in the season.

We are not able to remove trees for any of the following reasons:

  • increasing the amount of sunlight reaching properties or gardens
  • improving reception for satellite TV reception
  • alleviating seasonal or naturally occurring problems, eg falling leaves, fruit, seeds or berries, bird droppings, insect sap, or pollen
  • allowing for vehicular crossovers, except in exceptional circumstances. See dropped kerbs, vehicle crossings and driveways for more information

Planned tree works

Please see below for all of the planned maintenance works taking place in the borough in the near future.

For medium and large sized trees, it is normal for the tree felling and stump removal to be done in two stages. This is due to the differing equipment required. 

The following works will take place in November 2021:

Location Ward Species Recommendations
Outside 104 Knollmead Alexandra Maple Fell & grind to 30cm (ganoderma, dieback)
Outside 64 Elmdene Alexandra Maple Fell & grind to 30cm (half dead)
Outside 51 Knollmead Alexandra Honey locust Crown lift 4m (low growth)
Outside 4 Oakdene Drive Alexandra Cherry Crown lift 2.5m (low growth)
Outside 17 Tankerton Road Surbiton Hill Cherry Lift basal growth
Outside 95 Cromwell Avenue St James Birch Crown lift 2.5m
o/s 54/56 Cedacroft Road Tolworth and Hook Rise Crataegus laevigata Paul Scarle Re-Stake young tree
Outside 53 Knightwood Crescent St James Maple Fell & grind to 30cm (basal decay)
Outside 43 Hollington Crescent St James Cherry Fell & grind to 30cm (basal decay)
Outside 23 Blakes Lane St James Field maple Fell & grind to 30cm (dead)
Opposite 56 Raeburn Avenue Alexandra Rowan Fell & grind to 30cm (dead)
Outside 43 Bargate Close St James Apple Fell & grind to 30cm (dead)
Opposite 26 Blakes Lane St James Hawthorn Fell & grind to 30cm (basal decay)
Outside 37 Groveland Way St James Cherry Fell & grind to 30cm (basal decay, half dead)
Outside 57 Groveland Way St James Hawthorn Fell & grind to 30cm (split down stem)
Opposite 37 Windsor Avenue St James Cherry Fell & grind to 30cm (dead)
Outside 59 Green Lane St James Purple plum Fell & grind to 30cm (ganoderma, basal decay)
Cambridge Avenue cycle track Beverley Horse chestnut Monlith to crown break (dead)
Outside 28 Roebuck Road Chessington North Silver birch Crown reduce 20%
Outside 69 Elmcroft Drive Tolworth & HR Apple Fell & grind to 30cm (dead)
Outside Fairholme House, Kingston Road St James Stump Grind stump to 30cm
Coombe Road Norbiton Pear x 5 Remove basal growth

Recently completed works

Location Ward Species Recommendations
o/s 46 Ullswater Crescent Coombe Hill 0-10 Grub out (dead)
Outside 25 Beaufort Road Grove London plane Fell & grind to 30cm. (Mitigation work was undertaken to the tree which was not successful in minimising damage and no alternative management practices can be implemented. This is in line with council tree strategy policies.

Our policies state that we will not prune or remove healthy trees as the result of a subsidence complaint without evidence being provided which is considered to be an overriding justification and no alternative management practices can be implemented. We had undertaken work above and beyond our 3 yearly cyclical maintenance regime which had no impact on the major damage being caused to the property.)
21-23 Tankerton Road Surbiton Hill   Crown lift 2.5m (basal growth)

Side of 28 Park Farm Road (on Staunton Rd)

Canbury   Crown reduce 30%
o/s 73 Ewell Road Surbiton   Removal due to road safety reasons. This is to avoid collisions between cyclists and pedestrians.

Last Modified: 19/10/2021 15:12:32