Town Hall axeman is now let loose on Shrublands’ trees

Timber: Croydon’s cash-strapped council found the money to fell Shrublands’ trees

It is looking like Croydon’s Labour council’s already dubious “green” credentials have suffered another blow, in the midst of their own climate emergency, with that blow being delivered by a well-oiled and over-used chainsaw.

If the council has its way, Shrublands could soon be left without any shrubs.

Cross of death: all sorts of healthy trees are under threat

Not for the first time, the council’s over-enthusiastic axemen have been out felling what appear to be perfectly healthy trees, this time on the Shrublands Estate in Shirley.

Inside Croydon’s coverage of the council axeman’s targeting of a few “wonky” plum trees in a South Croydon conservation area came just soon enough to spare those healthy trees a terminal fate.

For several of the trees in Shrublands, however, it is already too late.

And it cannot be because the council has somewhat late in the day decided it wants to spruce up Shrublands.

As one loyal reader put it, what makes it all the more galling, “just to give you an idea where the council’s priorities lie regarding the general maintenance of the estate, here’s a picture of a typical refuse area!”

Tidying up: the council’s sprucing up of the Shrublands Estate has not extended to the bins area

Readers have sent through a wide selection of photographs of trees.

There’s an interesting variety of trees, planted on the green spaces between residential blocks. All look to be in decent enough condition.

But all have the dreaded mark of a pink-coloured cross. Which means that they are for the chop.

It’s beginning to look as if the council has an earmarked budget for civic vandalism, and having been denied the opportunity of spending a few quid by felling some trees in South Croydon, they’ve decided that the Shrublands trees are for the chop.

Either that, or efforts are being made to pay down the bankrupt borough’s £1.5billion debts with a foray into the logging business.

Character: perhaps the council axeman just took a disliking to this tree

According to our reader, “I recently read your story about plum trees being cut down in Croydon for being “wonky”, and I really wanted to let you know that on Shrublands Avenue in Shirley there are more than 20 mature trees, some of which are at least 60 years old, that have been earmarked for cutting down.

“These trees are clearly not diseased, you can tell that because they, too, are blossoming lovely in springtime and their leaves and fruits look perfectly healthy.

“The council has already started cutting some down around the estate.

Senseless waste: why the council is spending money on destroying healthy trees is anyone’s guess

“I don’t know how I can do something to stop this. I fear it is just that the council wants to save money in maintaining these trees.

“I have contacted the local MP, Sarah Jones, but have heard nothing back.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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5 Responses to Town Hall axeman is now let loose on Shrublands’ trees

  1. mikebweb says:

    The council’s determination to cut down trees is not matched on the Whitgift Estate where they seem totally incapable of removing even dead trees. Two have been reported over a year ago and still they remain,presumably until they fall down and may be injure somebody. Some other trees were condemned over three years ago and we given the kiss of death by cutting the bark away. These trees are very resilient and have not died but still the council has continued to try and kill them off so they can drop them
    They are really big so must be worth something to the timber merchants!
    Who does LBoC employ and what credentials do they have , must be the question

  2. How many billion trees did Labour say they wanted to plant?

  3. Michael Fox says:

    I have seen the council ‘tree surgeons’ (I use the term very loosely) at work in the past and have been surprised by their seemingly un- professional work, in my own road unnecessarily removing lower branches but avoiding trees that were a public nuisance, removed debris was thrown up the rear access to the adjacent road garages. When challenged about their expertise in tree work I was met with a glowering silence.
    I would suggest the council does not want any large trees for the reason that, like the now disgusting road verges, they do not want to pay to maintain them
    My concern is who are these people in un-marked vehicles, who employed them and what are the term of their contract – do I smell a whiff of yet more corruption ?

  4. Lewis White says:

    Somoene at the council really needs to take responsibility, and quickly.

    Whilst some trees become diseased towards the end of their normal lifespan (which will depend on their species, growing conditions and past damage), the majority of trees live happily on for decades, even a century or more, in spite of vandalism, incluing the strimmer damage inflicted on most trees in grass areas by the strimmer team.

    The article does not mention any consultation.

    Was there any? And on what technical grounds wrere these trees marked for felling?

    Trees growing well away from buildings in open grass areas such as those depicted really require little or no pruning. They are not blocking light, or seem to be causing any problems whatsover.

    So, why are they being felled?

  5. Eve Tullett says:

    From these pictures there’s nothing wrong with these trees. There’s precious little green space or nature in Croydon as it is, why are they so obsessed with cutting down what few trees remain? Next they’ll be paving over the grass…

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