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Tuesday, 31 March 2020 17:45

More tree planting on Barnet Hill

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Tree planting party on Barnet Hill Tree planting party on Barnet Hill
Planting trees on Barnet Hill has been one of the great achievements of the Barnet Society -- and it is still work in progress with a row of Hawthorn being the lastest. A working party succeeded -- a few weeks before the introduction of coronavirus restrictions -- in planting a total of 50 Hawthorn whips with stakes and protective shields along the boundary fence of the Vale Drive clinic.

The aim is to ensure that the approach to High Barnet looks as green and inviting as possible, with the trees that line Barnet Hill continuing up the High Street, past the parish church, and then on to Hadley Green.

The now maturing trees along the top of the green bank that faces Underhill are London Planes and Norway Maples and they are known as Lee's trees -- in honour of the society's vice president, David Lee, who masterminded their planting and who has advised on the trees being planted along the High Street.

The latest planting was a three-way effort between the Jewish Kisharon charity, the Barnet Society and Barnet Council which donated the Hawthorns for planting out.

Kisharon supports people with learning disabilities and Rabbi Beni Fleischer brought with him a team of three with their helpers. They were joined by volunteers from the society and Barnet Council's assistant tree officer, Ivana Turner.

Rabbi Fleischer said Kisharon had been keen to initiate the tree planting in order to mark the Jewish Tu B'shvat festival which is held in February and celebrates the Hebrew date for the start of the new year for trees, when spring arrives, and tree sap starts to rise.

"We are delighted to be helping to green the approach to High Barnet and we hope we can make this an annual event."

The site for the Hawthorn planting was chosen jointly by the council and the society and is a continuation of the line of Hawthorns that screen St Catherine's Primary School and will now be extended to help soften the outline of the Vale Drive clinic.

More tree planting is planned alongside Barnet Hill and the council's tree officer Ms Turner said further requests would be considered, including tree planting outside the houses built on the site of the Old Red Lion public house at the junction with Underhill.

"Barnet Council aims to plant 900 trees a year and we are always happy to consider requests from householders for trees to be planted outside their homes on the pavement.

"We have to check to see if there aren't any wires or drains in the way, but we will plant a tree wherever possible.

"If old or diseased trees have to be removed, we always aim to replace them. So householders, please send in your requests."

Ms Turner, who was appointed in July, became a qualified tree engineer in Serbia where she was employed by the Ministry of Forestry.

"My job in Serbia was to care for forest trees.  Here in Barnet the work is quite different because many street trees in urban encironments can easily get into a distressed state, because of climate change or roadworks.

"So, the challenge is to do all we can to care for trees which might be struggling because of warmer temperatures and to make sure that diseased trees are replaced with suitable stock and that we keep planting new trees."

Tree planting on Barnet Hill (from left to right): Ivana Turner, Barnet Council assistant tree officer; Bob Burstow, secretary, Barnet Town Team; Robin Bishop, chair, Barnet Society; Councillor Paul Edwards; Rabbi Beni Fleischer. 

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