HL Deb 10 January 2005 vol 668 c8WA
Lord Harrison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the number of trees in London and other major British cities; what is their state of health; and when the Government last conducted a tree audit. [HL389]

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker)

Accurate data are not held centrally. All local authorities maintain their own records of privately-owned trees that are protected by tree preservation orders and many have inventories of trees for which they are responsible. The last survey of trees in London (Action for London's Trees, 1993 ) estimated that there were nearly 6,000,000 individual trees and hedges and more than 65,000 woodlands and stands of trees. Trees in Towns (1993) assessed the composition of tree stocks in 66 sample towns in England. This survey is currently being reviewed (Trees in Towns II ) and the results will be available in summer 2005.

The two surveys of 1993 recorded that the vast majority of trees were in good condition. Since that time Forest Research has monitored the condition of nonwoodland amenity trees to identify the incidence and trends of pathogens and insects affecting tree health. It does not assess the overall health of the national tree stock. Trees in Towns II will also provide up to date data on tree condition which will be compared with that from previous surveys.