Dispute over preservation of 'dead and diseased' Transport for London cherry trees in Watford Way, Hendon

Daniel McGannan (right) met with Hendon MP Matthew Offord to show him the trees, which he says do not need chopping down

Daniel McGannan (right) met with Hendon MP Matthew Offord to show him the trees, which he says do not need chopping down

First published in News
Last updated
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A retired civil servant has promised to chain himself to the trees outside his home if Transport for London continues to chop them down.

Maintenance men armed with chainsaws arrived without warning in Watford Way, Hendon, last week and began cutting down a row of dozens of cherry trees lining the pavement.

Daniel McGannan, who has lived in the road for 50 years, immediately called TfL, who informed him the trees were being removed because they were diseased and damaged.

But the incensed 67-year-old got on the phone to his local MP Matthew Offord, who has now raised a dispute with the transport provider and is looking to have the trees preserved.

Mr McGannan said: “I can’t tell you what I thought when I looked out of the window and saw them chopping them down.

“These trees block the noise and pollution from the main road and they look beautiful when they are in bloom. I'll chain myself to them if they come back."

Conservative Mr Offord visited residents in the road last week and said he would be speaking to TfL to ensure the trees are replaced if there is no alternative to cutting them down.

He said: “The Mayor of London is planting new trees in Brent Street, but that’s no good if we’re just taking others away from here.

“I will be writing to the mayor and I don’t think he’ll be happy that his department is cutting down trees whilst he is pledging to plant 10,000 more across London.”

TfL insists its tree experts deemed the cherry trees damaged and diseased and says it will ensure replacements are planted.

Dana Skelley, director of asset management at TfL, said: “We appreciate that local residents are fond of the trees along the A41 Watford Way. Unfortunately, following investigations, a number of mature trees now sadly need to be removed as a number of serious defects have been recently identified.

“We appreciate that these trees are much loved in the local area, and already have a programme to ensure that replacement trees are planted as close as possible to the original locations. Where possible, we will also be planting additional trees throughout the area.”

Comments (5)

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11:23am Wed 2 Apr 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

I support the idea of chaining civil servants to trees.
I support the idea of chaining civil servants to trees. Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

Interesting photograph. Or is Matthew Offord just pleased to see Mr McGann?

But seriously, as one who grew up in this area, the cherry trees are a lovely feature of the roads around, from an era when planting trees was in order to enhance the streetview, and not the election campaign of Tory councillors.

Did TFL consult anyone over the removal of the trees? Where is the report that proves they are all diseased?
Interesting photograph. Or is Matthew Offord just pleased to see Mr McGann? But seriously, as one who grew up in this area, the cherry trees are a lovely feature of the roads around, from an era when planting trees was in order to enhance the streetview, and not the election campaign of Tory councillors. Did TFL consult anyone over the removal of the trees? Where is the report that proves they are all diseased? Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Wed 2 Apr 14

nlygo says...

on a TFL managed road, trees etc are the responsibility of TFL.

the trees will be replaced

it is good policy to replace trees every few decades
on a TFL managed road, trees etc are the responsibility of TFL. the trees will be replaced it is good policy to replace trees every few decades nlygo
  • Score: -2

6:50pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

If Transport for London really "appreciate that these trees are much loved in the local area", why on earth did they not have the courtesy to consult Watford Way residents before starting to chop the trees down?

It would have cost little to put a notice through letterboxes in Watford Way and nearby side streets explaining why TfL believed the trees had to be removed and giving residents the opportunity to comment.
If Transport for London really "appreciate that these trees are much loved in the local area", why on earth did they not have the courtesy to consult Watford Way residents before starting to chop the trees down? It would have cost little to put a notice through letterboxes in Watford Way and nearby side streets explaining why TfL believed the trees had to be removed and giving residents the opportunity to comment. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 0

7:03pm Thu 3 Apr 14

nlygo says...

dont be silly.

you are possibly part of the group of folks who complain when Network Rail cut down trees alongside railway tracks

and also complain when Network Rail dont because there are leaves on the line

if the trees are dead, they have to go!
dont be silly. you are possibly part of the group of folks who complain when Network Rail cut down trees alongside railway tracks and also complain when Network Rail dont because there are leaves on the line if the trees are dead, they have to go! nlygo
  • Score: 0

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