TREES set to be planted along the Edgware Road will provide a “real boost” at no cost to the Barnet taxpayer, according to the council.

Environmentalists had questioned why tree officers had chosen Dawn Redwoods to be planted along the road, as opposed to a native type of tree.

They also raise issues about ongoing maintenance and fears about the long-term viability of a tree which was only discovered in 1941.

A statement from Barnet Council said: “The primary reason for choosing Dawn Redwoods was because they grow upright, in a tall and thin style, avoiding problems of bird mess dropping on to shop displays or car dealership forecourts, or obscuring them from the view of passing motorists.

“They are also conifers, of which there are currently very few in Barnet, adding to the biodiversity of the borough, and have minimal leaf fall. There are already many fine specimens of Dawn Redwood growing in Westminster, which shows they do well in urban conditions.”

It added the trees would grow to about 20m, but will be about four metres tall when planted and said local shopkeepers had been consulted around the 100 sites they are due to be planted.

The statement continued: “One of the main reasons that the Dawn Redwood was chosen was because they require very little ongoing maintenance.

“As the cost of planting and initial maintenance is being covered by the Mayor of London’s funding, users of the Edgware Road will be receiving a real boost to the environment and atmosphere of the street, which is currently overwhelmingly urban, at no cost to the Barnet taxpayer.

“Barnet already has 36,000 street trees, and the impact on the borough’s tree maintenance budget of the Edgware Road trees will be minimal.”