Less than green: Tolworth Greenway cypress trees on their last legs

Brown: the trees this week

Brown: the trees this week

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter - 020 8722 6313

A set of “hardy” trees planted on the controversial Tolworth Greenway appear to be on their last legs – just six months after the regeneration scheme was completed.

The Italian cypresses, planted near the roundabout as part of the £3.1m scheme, appeared threadbare and unhealthy this week.

Surbiton firefighter Simon Jakeman, a Green Party candidate in the recent local elections, said: “It’s really sad to see evergreen trees in such a sad state, turning browner by the day.

“The right trees would have reduced air pollution and reduced the heat effect from all that concrete in the summer.”

Newly elected Conservative councillor Ian George, in Alexandra ward, suggested the trees might not be getting enough water and were likely to die soon.

A gardening website described the ornamental trees as “hardy” and “drought tolerant”.

Surrey Comet:

Surbiton resident Jane Grove, who travels through the Greenway every day, said: “Whatever they do to Tolworth, they always seem to make a mess of it.

“This scheme was dubbed the Greenway, and we were expecting a nice boulevard of trees – instead we get a few spindly saplings and some incongruous trees which have been neglected and left to die.

“Surely, after all the money that they have spent on the Greenway, they could at least take the time to look after it?”

Lib Dem Tolworth and Hook Rise councillor Vicki Harris said: “It is one of the things on my list to chase up. If they have not been maintained and they’re dying, then they will have to be replaced.”

Despite the fact several trees look to be in decline, a council spokesman said only one tree was in poor health.

He said: “The contractor is nurturing it to bring it back to life.”

Surrey Comet:

What do you think? Write to letters@surreycomet.co.uk.

Comments (4)

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6:29am Fri 6 Jun 14

TraditionalValues says...

Another dreadful non-story by the once reputable Comet. If you cut through the obvious political spin from serial self-promoters, the only pertinent fact is that one solitary tree is in trouble. I daresay that such a failure rate would be entirely expected when planting semi-mature trees.

It is noteworthy that the council are advised by expert tree surgeons, and can speak authoritatively on the health of the trees. The begrudgers who have fabricated this non-story are clearly looking for some free publicity at the expense of the council and the truth.
Another dreadful non-story by the once reputable Comet. If you cut through the obvious political spin from serial self-promoters, the only pertinent fact is that one solitary tree is in trouble. I daresay that such a failure rate would be entirely expected when planting semi-mature trees. It is noteworthy that the council are advised by expert tree surgeons, and can speak authoritatively on the health of the trees. The begrudgers who have fabricated this non-story are clearly looking for some free publicity at the expense of the council and the truth. TraditionalValues
  • Score: 7

1:41pm Fri 6 Jun 14

tigerlily25 says...

The greenway....now it may be green as the ground is painted a lurid green, but it doesn't look like any greenway I had imagined. I think all hopefull residents thought it would be like a boulevard that people can walk along and shop and enjoy, whereas now it has turned into a dodging death race way, cars dont know when to stop for you, pedestrians dont know when to cross, dash and hope for the best is the general attitude. They really could have 'prettied' the broadway up if they had put some thought into it.
The greenway....now it may be green as the ground is painted a lurid green, but it doesn't look like any greenway I had imagined. I think all hopefull residents thought it would be like a boulevard that people can walk along and shop and enjoy, whereas now it has turned into a dodging death race way, cars dont know when to stop for you, pedestrians dont know when to cross, dash and hope for the best is the general attitude. They really could have 'prettied' the broadway up if they had put some thought into it. tigerlily25
  • Score: -1

2:43pm Fri 6 Jun 14

SteveC1964 says...

The new crossings at the roundabout make it a lot better crossing from the broadway towards the railway station.

Re: "cars dont know when to stop for you", Cars don't know anything. Drivers should know when to stop - when there's a red light in front of them or if they are close to you when you are crossing the road and slowing down wouldn't give you enough time to complete the crossing. If you are crossing the road and a vehicle comes along it is wrong for the driver to collide with you so they should slow down or stop if you are crossing. If you are not confindent crossing the broadway without using the pedestrian crossing I suggest that you use the pedestrian crossing(s). There's one by Poundland and another near the Ewell Road junction. I think the crossing by Lloyd's Pharmacy was taken out so that it doesn't disrupt vehicle traffic. Perhaps Kevin Davis can get it put back in. if that's what you want.
The new crossings at the roundabout make it a lot better crossing from the broadway towards the railway station. Re: "cars dont know when to stop for you", Cars don't know anything. Drivers should know when to stop - when there's a red light in front of them or if they are close to you when you are crossing the road and slowing down wouldn't give you enough time to complete the crossing. If you are crossing the road and a vehicle comes along it is wrong for the driver to collide with you so they should slow down or stop if you are crossing. If you are not confindent crossing the broadway without using the pedestrian crossing I suggest that you use the pedestrian crossing(s). There's one by Poundland and another near the Ewell Road junction. I think the crossing by Lloyd's Pharmacy was taken out so that it doesn't disrupt vehicle traffic. Perhaps Kevin Davis can get it put back in. if that's what you want. SteveC1964
  • Score: 4

4:18pm Tue 17 Jun 14

pinky107 says...

on the round about part of this hideous pile of crap , the greenway floor thing is flaking off and there is a hole appearing , won't be long before someone trips over it .
would be nice if ;
the planks of wood had been painted ,
if the subways were tidied up and not hacked to bits and left looking like a dump ,
if the trees were actually alive never mind having leaves on ,
if the whole pathetic rubbish wasn't built at all and the deisgner and builders refunded their money , because neither has earned a penny of it .
on the round about part of this hideous pile of crap , the greenway floor thing is flaking off and there is a hole appearing , won't be long before someone trips over it . would be nice if ; the planks of wood had been painted , if the subways were tidied up and not hacked to bits and left looking like a dump , if the trees were actually alive never mind having leaves on , if the whole pathetic rubbish wasn't built at all and the deisgner and builders refunded their money , because neither has earned a penny of it . pinky107
  • Score: -1

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