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Trees in Welwyn Hatfield
The council maintains more than 30,000 individual trees, 30 hectares of tree belt and numerous woodlands in both urban and rural areas across the borough.
The Council manages Hertfordshire County Council's trees on the verges in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield and the 'urban' areas of Welwyn, Welham Green, Little Heath, Northaw and Cuffley.
Trees on the roadside in Digswell, Oaklands and Essendon are maintained by Hertfordshire County Council.
All trees individually identified are inspected on a three year rolling program to assess their health and structural condition. Any pruning or maintenance works which are considered necessary for the health of the tree or for the safety of people are noted and undertaken on a priority basis.
If you have noticed a tree that appears to have failing health, broken branches or is causing an obstruction to pavements or roads please call the contact centre on 01707 357000.
All trees managed by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council are maintained within the policies laid out in the Trees and Woodlands Strategy, approved by cabinet on 6th July 2013. This document clearly states what we will and won't prune trees for.
Policy 1, the Council will carry out works to its trees where;
- a risk assessment has identified decay, structural damage or any symptom of imminent failure;
- physical encroachment, where branches are touching buildings;
- vehicular and pedestrian safety is compromised;
- sightlines are required to be maintained e.g. road signs, street lights etc;
- previous pruning regimes have dictated that a continuance of such measures remains appropriate for that specimen, e.g. periodic reductions, pollarding;
- where there is proven tree root subsidence damage to property.
Policy 2, the Council will not carry out works to its trees to;
- increase the amount of sunlight reaching a property or where views are obstructed;
- improve reception for mobile phone, satellite and television reception or improved CCTV coverage;
- allow light to reach solar panelling;
- alleviate problems caused by natural or seasonal phenomena e.g. sap, pollen, leaves, seeds, bird droppings, flowers, nuts and/or berries;
- alleviate build up of algae and moss or prevent dampness on paths, structures or gardens; alleviate potential insurance and subsidence issues unless supported by evidence such as a relevant engineering report;
- resolve footpath, heave or trip hazards caused by root ingress unless no viable alternative can be found to alleviate the problems;
- facilitate vehicle crossovers unless the tree has a very limited life expectancy or is at an age where is can be relocated elsewhere. In this case, any associated costs will be borne by the crossover applicant.
- remove lower branches from specimen trees. These will be trees chosen to grow in their natural form, where access beneath the crown is not required.
The trees we manage on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council are also maintained in accordance with the Counties Highway Tree Strategy and Guidance Document (adopted January 2013).
Sometimes it is necessary to remove trees that are dead, dying or have significant structural weaknesses. When the trees are felled, stumps are initially left in-situ at about a metre high so they are clearly visible. The stumps are then ground out in the subsequent months and the area is re soiled and seeded as necessary.
Tree Planting and Young Trees
Each year the council plants approximately 300 trees ensuring that the visual amenity of the street scene in the borough is guaranteed for future generations.
The Council will plant trees on its own land to renew formal schemes, increase the number of trees in towns and replace felled trees where appropriate.
The new trees are intensively maintained for the first three years. They are watered regularly between mid March and October, mulched annually and checked for tight ties, loose stakes and missing guards. Any young trees which die, are severely damaged or don't establish to independence in the landscape are removed and replaced in the next planting season (November to March).
Interested in trees?
We have a very successful and friendly Tree Warden Scheme. If you would like to know more please call the contact centre on 01707 357000.