Caldecott Road Lime Trees, Planning Applications, and a Scrap Yard by the River

July 13, 2017

Both Peter and Captain Chaos have sent emails about the Lime Trees on Caldecott Road …
Lime Trees
Peter said “How to make a beautiful road ugly. The trees just needed a slight trim not wanton vandalism!” Then later, “Much of the first few trees have been amputated, but then they stopped. The rest are still overhanging the road and probably need a trim. It makes one think, did they attack the wrong trees?”
Lime Trees
Captain Chaos says “Driving down Caldecott Road a fortnight ago I was horrified to see the first half a dozen Lime trees had been given a severe pruning, so much so I considered contacting council to ask the question why? However, going by next day work appeared to have stopped. Had they attacked the wrong trees thought I? Alas, yesterday the tree surgeons were back and the once beautiful, full of leaf, row of fine looking specimens have, in my humble opinion, been mutilated.”
Lime Trees
Captain Chaos adds that “According to the VWHDC planning portal the old Hanoi café site in Stert Street has a planning application for conversation to a Vintage furniture shop, to also include a Milk Shake bar.”

“Also there is an application to demolish “The Isis” bungalow on Wilsham road. This road is undergoing quite a transformation.”

He says, “I wish the VWHDC council would do something about the scrap yard that’s now taken over the headland where the old boat house had their fuel pumps. It does not a good impression to boaters arriving here.”

Filed under: trees

16 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Sue Pollard  |  July 13, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    It’s called pollarding. Don’t visit a French town in winter if you don’t like the look of pollarded trees
    Of course by summer, they erupt with growth…

  • 2. Daniel  |  July 13, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    …making cuts, but in all the wrong places; just about sums it up really. I’ve been trying to get a tree pruned for two years, but The Veil just don’t seem interested. Even though it’s now a substantial hazard. Still….the moment one of my trees overhung the pavement I got a snotty letter about their guidelines that I’d breached. It seems everyone has to obey their rules, except them.

    A milkbar is an excellent idea….good luck!

    The flowers continue to look lovely, so that’s Abingdon pretty much sorted.

  • 3. ppjs  |  July 14, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Meanwhile, traffic warning signs are hidden in hedges and so they fail to advise clearly on the hazards ahead.

    The basics are neglected because central government has convinced itself that cuts expenditure are good in themselves. Taxation is the cost of good governance – something we have lacked for many years now, from governments of all complexions.

    I agree that the pruning in Caldecott Road is an aesthetic disaster and that the redevelopments in Wilsham Road have no architectural merit whatsoever.

  • 4. Iain  |  July 14, 2017 at 8:31 am

    The hard pruning is called pollarding and is done to manage the height and extend the life of certain types of trees, classically lime and poplar. It does have an odd/distinctive look for a few weeks, but the trees quickly adapt. It’s certainly not vandalism, just a well established way of managing that variety of tree. If people want to see how the trees respond, the ones on Park Road they were pollarded in the late spring.

  • 5. Dave  |  July 14, 2017 at 8:58 am

    The pedestrian Controlled lights at the bridge in Marcham Road are completely covered by overhanging branches moving south from Town, have been for some time now. Wold this be considered a safety issue by the local police force, or must there be an accident before the lighs are made visible to drivers leaving the Town?

  • 6. Janet  |  July 14, 2017 at 9:03 am

    You would be surprised but all municipal trees are managed in this way. Trees produce a lot of bottom growth which impede pedestrians and grass cutting and also traps litter.

  • 7. Sarah  |  July 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Yes, pollarding always looks shockingly severe at first, but it very quickly softens. Seems a little late in the year to be doing it though.

  • 8. ppjs  |  July 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Had a milk shake at R’n'R this morning. Nice milk shake, service somewhat slow. Two people in front of me, nobody following: 10 minutes.

    The food and drinks are really good; the site is excellent.

  • 9. Daniel  |  July 14, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Is the practice of pollarding to trim “only some of the tree”…or “only some of the trees”?

  • 10. Badger  |  July 14, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    I used to live very close to those trees in Caldecott Rd, they’ve been cut back hard like that since the mid ’70’s and I’m sure for many years before that, it does look a bit severe to start with but as has been said above nature soon makes up for what’s been lopped off, the main issue for people living in their shadow is their sheer height, I think there were calls at one time to have them reduced in stature which came to no avail. I suppose in many ways it’s quite something with all the financial constraints that they actually get visited by a tree sturgeon at all.

  • 11. Captainkaos2  |  July 14, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Like that post Daniel, joking apart the RHS web site suggests the main reason for pollarding is to control height and that’s not been achieved, they also say the best time to maintain deciduous trees is winter.
    While I don’t profess to know much about this subject I just don’t see taking all the lower growth (and some healthy limbs too) is good practise? Especially this time of year?
    Now if ever there is/was a good case for pollarding in town it must be the two weeping willow trees on nags head island? Beneath the sprawl is a lovely little beach area, or at least there was one 25 years ago !

  • 12. Badger  |  July 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    …And, yes Ck2 that pile of junk looks awful as do some of the craft permanently moored up around there and yet the boat that the pile belongs to looks quite together in comparison. All in all and as you say not the best advert for those holidaying on the river.

  • 13. Steve E  |  July 14, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Lime trees always get pollarded in that manner. Sounds like they got a good contractor.

  • 14. Daniel  |  July 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    None of this answers the question…why only attend to half of them?

    I happen to think that this line of trees boarders on ‘magnificent’…and I feel truely blessed to have them on my doorstep and can watch their wax’n wane through the seasons. Whilst the carriageway of Caldecott Rd deteriorates with rutts and holes and ridges and troughs and furrows and lumps and bumps, at least the trees are being attended to. But why only some of them?

  • 15. User_less  |  July 15, 2017 at 7:26 am

    They have had at least two visits so far. As it is routine work rather than urgent works the contractor may be fitting it around other jobs to lower the price charged. Local contractors often have this type of agreement with local councils.. I imagine they will be back to finish the rest soon.

  • 16. Martin Buckland  |  July 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Tree management often looks dramatic but so is the resulting re-growth. Pruning is done to maintain healthy trees and, as in this case, to avoid them overhanging the roadway. The ‘before and after’ situation in the first photo shows this. Strictly speaking this is not pollarding; have a look at:;_ylt=A7×9Un0wIGpZVjgA0.h3Bwx.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsYWhiN2NvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2lyMgR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=yhs-Lkry-SF01&va=pollarding+lime+trees&hspart=Lkry&hsimp=yhs-SF01
    for various types of pollarding of limes which is far more dramatic.

    The following photo might be of interest:

    This is a photo taken around 1900 of the old canal basin looking towards the Drayton road in the far distance. The photographer is standing in the now grassed area off Caldecott Road where the path leads on to the recreation ground. The trees in question are on the right but are much smaller than they are now.

    When one of them was felled about three or four years ago a local resident counted the growth rings and there were about 137 of them which would make the planting date around 1877. This would make the trees in the old photo about 20 years old which also looks right.

    The lift bridge in the distance led to Caldecott House and a slight rise in the ground by the beech hedge can still be seen. There are other photos of these lime trees in various books and on the internet.

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