Gen. Wolfe’s Stump

Now you see it…

…now you don’t.

There seems to be a whole spate of people cutting down healthy trees in Greenwich just now and this is the latest victim – a seemingly just-fine chestnut in the avenue right up where all the tourists go, next to the Greenwich Phantom General Wolfe, spotted by Stephen, who, like me, is worried. I have written to Royal Parks to see if I can find out what’s been going on and will let you know when I do.


I received this about ten minutes ago from the Royal Parks Press Office:

We regret that the Horse Chestnut had to be removed for safety reasons. During the winter storms the tree lost a large limb, it also suffered with the Bacterial Canker disease which causes structural weakness and eventually death. With its proximity to an extremely popular and busy location in the park it was seen as necessary to remove it. We will be replanting this autumn.

the attachments to this post:

cut down tree stephen may 2014
cut down tree stephen may 2014

cut down tree stephen before may 2014
cut down tree stephen before may 2014

10 Comments to “Gen. Wolfe’s Stump”

  1. ES says:

    I notice this kind of seemingly pointless, yet damaging, work tends to often happen around March/early April. The case here? The cynic in me wonders if it’s due to meeting targets before the end of the financial year to retain budgets the following year.

  2. Chris says:

    The Royal Borough seems to have got a thing for destroying trees. Two lovely trees on council land behind our house have been totally trimmed leaving just stumps.
    The Charlton Resident’s Association newsletter leads with a story of trees being chopped down on vacant land near Victoria Way, possibly helping developers, and of course there was the green at Deptford.
    What is going on?
    Also, any news about the café? February seems a long time ago!!

  3. Michael says:

    Here’s an exchange I’ve had with Longitude0 via twitter on the matter.

    How can we check if the Royal Parks did in fact apply for planning permission to fell this tree?

  4. Mike M says:

    I was told that the tree had honey fungus and was removed to stop it spreading to other trees in the area.

  5. Jack Cross says:

    “and of course there was the green at Deptford”

    Bardsley Green is, of course, in Greenwich – you’re not in Deptford till you cross the creek.

  6. Paul says:

    Plus a huge tree felled on the corner of Royal Hill and Greenwich High Rd, outside the Care Home.

  7. Dave says:


    That is sheltered housing , not a care home

  8. Izzyrocks says:

    I spoke to the team working on the felling of the Royal Hill/Greenwich High Road tree at the time. Apparently the roots had grown too much and were causing a trip hazard on the pavement. They’ve done a neat job of tidying the area, but still a shame to see it go.

    It’s just a shame that the Council’s policy doesn’t seem to extend to tree management; those in the gardens of my bit of the Royal Hill estate haven’t been trimmed or pollarded for donkeys’ years.

  9. Paul says:

    @ Izzy rock, there was some rippling of the pavers around the tree – like there are around many older trees, so I guess we can look forward to many more being chopped down.

  10. Michael says:

    I also got a reply from the Royal Parks. Just for completeness:

    The tree in question, Aesculus hippocastanum 00556 has bee suffering from Bleeding canker for a number of years, this bacterial infection causes strips of bark to be killed leaving the wood underneath exposed to colonisation by wood decaying fungi. A. Hippocastanum wood has poor resistance to decay and after a few years becomes so weak it starts to shed limbs which is the case with this tree which shed a portion of its canopy to the NW in February. As not all the vascular system is killed by the bacteria, trees may maintain a relatively full canopy of leaves which to the uninitiated may appear healthy but often places even greater stress through weight and wind resistance to the decaying and weakened scaffold branches.

    The area by General James Wolfe’s statue has some of the highest footfall across all The Royal Parks, with people underneath this tree almost all the time the park is open, so after consultation with the park management team we decided to remove this significant hazard as soon as possible.

    We hope this helps explain why we removed this tree.