TREES 2006-7Richard Bland
As usual one or two fine trees in Clifton have had to be felled or have died. The saddest perhaps was the Luccombe Oak on Clifton Green, which had grown rather pot-bellied, and succumbed to a fungal infection which first became obvious a year ago. Another was a fine cedar on Downside Road, near the Old Vic Theatre School, which lost all its leaves, and was felled. The Cedar in Vyvyan Terrace gardens had to be severely pruned because it was becoming top heavy, but the job has been well done, and the Cedar in St Andrew’s churchyard lost its crown in a storm. It is clear that many of the cedars so proudly planted between 1840 and 1870 are facing problems, and we must seek to ensure that replacements are planted for the future. Another great Victorian favourite, the Wellingtonia is also facing problems. There was one at the top of Bridge Valley Road that died about five years ago, and the one in Pembroke Vale is looking decidedly sick. They tend to mark out the great estates of the past. However a young one planted thirty years ago on Brandon Hill is doing very well.
The Lime tree planted to succeed the one felled on Clifton Green last year is doing well, and most of the new trees in and around Victoria Square seem finally to have got established - helped by the wet summer we have had. Even the two Limes planted in front of Tesco, which is a ridiculous choice of species for the site, are helping to soften that bleak exterior.
A survey of Clifton streets for the Conservation Area Assessment has revealed 76 species, almost all in gardens, that are large trees and major landscape features of our streets. The commonest is the Sycamore, followed by the Copper Beech and then Lime. Another key feature is the role played in Clifton by the 41 Community gardens, which have 97 tree species growing in them. Our trees play a vital role in making Clifton the attractive area it is
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