The subject or trees on allotments is one that comes up on a regular basis, due to.
· Perimeter Trees around the site boundary producing shade
· Trees on neighbouring plots that are unmanaged growing too tall and producing shade on neighbouring plots
· Roots from trees just off the allotment holders plot that are invasive and reducing moisture content in the soil
There are those council run and church run allotments that have put in place stringent rules for the planting and management of trees, indeed some allotments issue Tree Notices instructing tenants to reduce the size of their trees when they get over 2m.
Case Law – Trees on Allotments
The London Borough of Sutton / Idverde Allotment Gardening Guide has this to say regarding trees on your Allotment.
Allotment gardeners must not remove or prune trees on allotment sites. If a tree is causing you difficulty please contact the Local Authority Tree Officer”
Ideally dwarf root stock fruit trees should be grown in pots to ensure fruit trees remain manageable.
Dwarf fruit trees such as apple and pear trees may also be grown in restricted forms such as espaliers or cordons, again located such that the trunk is in the middle of your plot and they are trained such that they do not cast shadow outside your plot during the day.
“With any population of trees there are a number of common sources of complaints including overhanging branches, shade, leaf/fruit fall, obstruction and physical damage, etc. Many of these problems can be dealt with by regular management.”
The Council will carry out a visual tree assessment (VTA) of the existing tree stock on highways, parks, cemeteries and allotments on a minimum four-yearly basis
This article forms a basis for a discussion thread on the LBS Allotment Site Rep Association Facebook group. If you are a Site Rep in the London Borough of Sutton please do request to join the closed Facebook Group.