Gristwood & Toms steps in to reduce ownerless problem tree

Arboricultural contractor Gristwood & Toms has reduced a tree which towered over the Hertfordshire home of an elderly lady at no charge, after it appeared no one was responsible for it.

Image: Gristwood & Toms
Image: Gristwood & Toms

The 16m-high mature alder stands on land next to the St Albans property, and was blocking out light and causing a leaf litter problem. A Land Registry search revealed that the official owners of the land had been dissolved last year.

After reading about the problem, managers at Gristwood & Toms offered to help. After confirming that the tree was not subject to a tree protection order or in a conservation area, the company put a notice up on it outlining their intention to reduce its size. With no objections received, a team returned a month later to carry out the work.

Lead arboricultural consultant Jim Mead said: "The tree is mature and has historically been heavily pollarded at approximately 6-7m with subsequent crown reduction at 10-11m. The crown has regrown vigorously and developed a dense canopy.

"We reduced the crown of the tree by approximately 30 per cent, by up to 3.5 – 4m in height and laterally by up to 2.5m, removed any unstable defects and selectively thinned the tree to improve its branch framework."

The work took around three hours to complete, from arrival and carrying out site specific risk assessments to clear-up.

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