Still reeling from the cull of Santa Monica's Ficus trees, here in the UK I turned on the BBC 2 television program "The Trees that made Britain" and immediately experienced deja vu. The two Presenters, both from Kew Gardens- Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboretum and Jon Hammerton- were saying how there is a nationwide policy to fell large, mature trees, regardless of their environmental value. As in Santa Monica, they are replaced with small, easy to maintain trees- described here as "Lolly Pop Trees".
In a London street they showed a magnificent, healthy 100 year old London Plane Tree being cut down. The reason? The roots of these beautiful trees soak up the moisture from the native clay which in turn can cause subsidence to the adjacent buildings. Rather than risk large insurance claims, the council prefers to cut them down and replace with the said Lolly Pop trees. As always, money is the explanation...
To quote William Blake: "The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in their way".
The Trees that made Britain