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Tree Maintenance

Mark Lewis made this Freedom of Information request to Transport for London

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Dear Transport for London,

Can you please tell me for the years 2015 to 2020 how many trees you have been responsible for planting in the borough of Havering. Of these, how many are still healthy, how many are failing and how many have died.

Can you please also provide the cost as a total and per tree including details of the maintenance plan to sustain the trees, date of planting and documented proof that the trees are being watered as contracted.

My observation is that many trees are failing.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Lewis

FOI, Transport for London

Dear Mr Lewis

 

Our Ref:         FOI-0784-2021

 

Thank you for your request received on 7 August 2020 asking for
information about tree maintenance in the London Borough of Havering.

 

The impact of current circumstances on TfL’s resources means we are not
able to answer FOI requests readily and we ask that you please do not make
a request to us at present.

 

Answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the
attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. In
any event, please note that our response time will be affected by the
current situation. Please notify us as soon as possible if you would like
to withdraw your request at the current time.

 

Should you wish to proceed with the request we will aim to issue a
response by 7 September 2020 in accordance with the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 and our information access policy. We publish a substantial
range of information on our website on subjects including operational
performance, contracts, expenditure, journey data, governance and our
financial performance. This includes data which is frequently asked for in
FOI requests or other public queries. Please check
[1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transpar... to see if this helps you.

 

We will publish anonymised versions of requests and responses on the
[2]www.tfl.gov.uk website. We will not publish your name and we will send
a copy of the response to you before it is published on our website.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

Senior FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[3][TfL request email]

 

 

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FOI, Transport for London

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Lewis

 

Our Ref:         FOI-0784-2021

 

Thank you for your request received on 7 August 2020 asking for
information about tree maintenance in the London Borough of Havering.

 

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can
confirm we hold some of the information you require. You asked:

 

Can you please tell me for the years 2015 to 2020 how many trees you have
been responsible for planting in the borough of Havering. Of these, how
many are still healthy, how many are failing and how many have died.

 

We can provide specific details on the number of street trees planted on
the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) only in Havering for the
years below:

 

2018/19: 11 street trees were planted by TfL

2019/20: 24 street trees were planted by TfL

 

For previous year we do not hold details of the number of trees planted
per year by specific borough (note this was published in an MQ in 2018).
This issue was identified in 2018 which is why this is now recorded.

 

Havering is within the North East area and we can provide the numbers for
this area from 2016. This area also includes: Redbridge, Newham, Barking
and Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Enfield, Haringey

 

North East New
16/17 154
17/18 0

 

We do not hold specific reports on the health of each individual tree,
however we can confirm that each street tree on the TLRN is surveyed once
a year which checks on the health of the tree. Any tree failing the survey
will be removed and replaced, although not always in exactly the same
location if this has been a factor in effecting the health of the tree or
for a safety reason, such as blocking the view of road users. If trees
cannot be replaced in the same financial year they will be replaced the
year after.

 

We hold the details for why street trees were removed in Havering for the
following years:

 

2018//19: 4 trees were removed due to defective tree surveys

2019/20: 18 trees were removed due to safety concerns

 

If newly planted trees die these are replaced by our contractors.

 

Can you please also provide the cost as a total and per tree including
details of the maintenance plan to sustain the trees, date of planting and
documented proof that the trees are being watered as contracted.

 

We do not have reports that provide the specific information that you have
requested, however we can provide some details.

 

Unfortunately due to COVID work restrictions for a number of spring /
summer months we were not able water our trees as normal as all non-safety
critical activities were paused.

 

As part of our LoHAC (London Highways Alliance Contract) contract,
contractors are only required to water trees in the first three years that
they have been planted. The trees that fall into this category in Havering
are now scheduled to be watered, however this can be affected by the
weather, if there is heavy rainfall or severe heat frequencies can change.
Our annual tree surveys will detect if a tree is not in good health and
any action for the contractor such as further watering will be identified.

 

The detailed of costs for planting and maintaining individually and total
trees are part of LoHAC. In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act
we are not obliged to provide the requested information on costs as it is
subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information
under section 43(2) prejudice to commercial interests.

 

In this instance the exemption has been applied as disclosure would be
likely to prejudice the commercial interests of us and our suppliers by
hindering their ability to operate competitively in the market place for
future contracts of this nature. These contracts are currently out for
tender and provision of this information would allow rival bidders and
potential clients to have an insight on their pricing structure and
manipulate this to hinder the ability of our contractors to conduct their
business as competitively as possible. LoHACs are not aware of the rates
of other LoHACs.

 

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public
interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We
recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities,
but in this instance we feel that the balance of public interest lies in
favour of withholding the information to ensure that future tender
processes of this nature remain fair and effective for all parties.

 

As part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy we have a target of planting 1%
more trees across on the TLRN every year to help sustain and increase the
tree numbers on our network. Any trees removed from the network are
replaced as detailed above.

 

We do not hold information on the specific dates that trees are planted.
Our planting season runs annually between November and March each year.

 

If this is not the information you are looking for please feel free to
contact me.

 

The impact of current circumstances on TfL’s resources means we are not
able to answer FOI requests readily and we ask that you please do not make
a request to us at present.

 

Answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the
attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. In
any event, please note that our response time will be affected by the
current situation.

 

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to
appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gemma Jacob

Senior FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

 

[1][TfL request email]

 

 

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Mark Lewis please sign in and let everyone know.