Trees, the good the bad and the ugly truth about councils who abuse their positions of trust






TPOs are sometimes used by unscrupulous councils to stop development, which care- taking should take place in the interests of good husbandry. Often, the arboriculturists in a council are instructed by the legal departments to issue a TPO against trees that should not be included, such as sycamores, which are of course weed trees that cause a lot of damage - as well local authorities know. In days gone by councils might get away with such abuses of their position of trust, but if you scan some of the findings of the Courts, you may find that compensation is payable if a heavy handed council tries it on. You might also consider looking at the Fraud Act 2006, when it comes to malicious TPOs that are designed to cause you loss - or do a favour for a neighbor - which amounts to the same thing. It has been alleged that the large sycamore on the left was included in a TPO by Wealden District Council to cause the then owner of Herstmonceux Museum, as much aggravation as possible. One look at the courtyard wall would tell any reasonable person, that this tree was causing serious damage to the brick built retaining walls just a few feet away. This is a true story, and sadly, there are many more like it. We hope to tell it in good humor with practical tips for landowners as to how to recover the right to look after your patch, free of interference. See Article 8 HRA Act 1998 and Section 6 (1). According to our human rights consultant, It is unlawful for a council to violate a European Convention right. Article 8 is a Convention Right and prohibits interference with your private life and home. Article 1 of the 1st Protocol provides for peaceful enjoyment of property. The service of a nuisance Order violates a persons Convention Rights by virtue of being interference in peaceful your enjoyment.





TPOs are administered by Local Planning Authorities (LPA) (e.g. a borough, district or unitary council or a national park authority) and are made to protect trees that bring significant amenity benefit to the local area. This protection is particularly important where trees are under threat. What is not published is that councils routinely serve notices against trees that provide little or no amenity value. This is part of the hidden cost of obtaining planning permission, or carrying out building works, that makes the United Kingdom so impossibly expensive for young couples to begin a life here.


What is so difficult for us to understand is how and why ordinary men find their way into top paid jobs in councils, then appear to think that they are the elite and that the rights of the little man are of no consequence. Having obtained such positions, it seems that the likes of District Planners believe themselves to be better than the public they serve. That is the only conclusion that we could reach, having reviewed the case of Herstmonceux TPO 34 of 1983, and the events that flowed from there.


We feel that it is our duty to publish what we have read, in the hopes that it might serve as an object lesson to other councils that what you do today that is wrong for a quick fix, will come back to haunt you in the long-term. That being the case, surely it is better to do what is right?




All types of tree, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs can be protected, and a TPO can protect anything from a single tree to all trees within a defined area or woodland. Any species can be protected, but no species is automatically protected by a tree preservation order.


A TPO is a written order, which in general, makes it a criminal offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, willfully damage or willfully destroy a tree protected by that order, or to cause or permit such actions, without the authority’s permission. Anyone found guilty of such an offence is liable. In serious cases the case may be dealt with in the Crown Court where an unlimited fine can be imposed.


To make an application to carry out tree works you will need to complete an application form and submit it to the LPA. The form can either be submitted through the Planning Portal or directly to the LPA. You can find out more about TPOs in the Department for Communities and Local Government guide titled Protected trees: A guide to tree preservation procedures. You might also find it helpful to seek the advice of a tree surgeon prior to making an application. A directory of Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors can be found here.






The Holm oak (Quercus ilex) is an evergreen broadleaf tree native to the Mediterranean region. It was introduced to Britain in the late 1500s for parks and gardens. This species is resistant to sea salt-spray. However, during cold winters they are prone to dying or losing leaves, hence are more common in the south.

Holm oak differs from native oaks as its leaves are spiny, like holly, and it keeps its leave throughout the year. Mature trees grow to 20m and develop a huge, rounded crown. The bark is black and finely cracked, and twigs are slender and covered with light brown felt-like hairs. Leaves are oval, dark green to black and concave with a similar coating of pale hairs on the underside. Older leaves have smooth edges.

Holm oak is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers are found on the same tree. Flowers are catkins, and yellow male catkins can be seen to hang off the tree in abundance in early spring. After pollination by wind, female flowers develop into acorns, which are smaller and have a more pointed tip than those of English or sessile oaks. Young acorns are green and mature to a dark red-brown before falling. 

Holm oak is not as valuable to wildlife as native English and sessile oaks, but its catkins provide a source of pollen for bees and other insects, while its dense, evergreen canopy offers year-round shelter for birds. In ancient Greece the leaves of the holm oak were used to tell the future and they were also used to make crowns to honour people. The acorn was seen as a sign of fertility and wearing acorn jewellery was believed to increase fertility. Holm oak timber is incredibly hard and strong. The Romans used the wood for making carts wheels and carriages. Holm oak acorns are used to feed pigs reared for Serrano ham. 



Conservation Areas


Normal TPO procedures apply if a tree in a conservation area is already protected by a TPO. But if a tree in a conservation area is not covered by a TPO, you have to give written notice to the LPA (by letter, email or on the LPA’s form) of any proposed work, describing what you want to do, at least six weeks before the work starts. This is called a ‘section 211 notice’ and it gives the LPA an opportunity to consider protecting the tree with a TPO.


You do not need to give notice of work on a tree in a conservation area less than 7.5 centimetres in diameter, measured 1.5 metres above the ground (or 10 centimetres if thinning to help the growth of other trees).


You can find out more about trees in Conservation Areas in the Department for Communities and Local Government guide titled Protected trees: A guide to tree preservation procedures.


Trees and the planning system


Under the UK planning system, LPAs have a statutory duty to consider the protection and planting of trees when granting planning permission for proposed development. The potential effect of development on trees, whether statutorily protected (e.g. by a tree preservation order or by their inclusion within a conservation area) or not, is a material consideration that is taken into account when dealing with planning applications. Where trees are statutorily protected, it is important to contact the LPA and follow the appropriate procedures before undertaking any works that might affect the protected trees.


Planning conditions are frequently used by LPAs as a means of securing the retention of trees, hedgerows and other soft landscaping on sites during development and for a period following completion of the development. If it is proposed to retain trees for the long term then a TPO is often used rather than a planning condition. If valid planning conditions are in place then anyone wishing to undertake work to trees shown as part of the planning condition must ensure they liaise with the LPA and obtain any necessary consent or variation.


The nature and level of detail of information required to enable an LPA to properly consider the implications and effects of development proposals varies between stages and in relation to what is proposed. Table B.1 of British Standard 5837:2012 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations provides advice to both developers and LPAs on an appropriate amount of information that will need to be provided either at the planning application stage or via conditions.


For further information you are advised to contact either your LPA or to seek advice from an Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant from the list which can be found here.


Felling Licences


Felling Licences are administered by the Forestry Commission. You do not need a licence to fell trees in gardens. However, for trees outside gardens, you may need to apply to the Forestry Commission for a felling licence, whether or not they are covered by a TPO. You can find out more about felling licences at Felling Licences quick guide (England) or in the Forestry Commission’s booklet Tree Felling – getting permission.


Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)


SSSIs (ASSIs in Northern Ireland) are designated by the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO) for each country of the United Kingdom. They include some of our most spectacular and beautiful habitats - large wetlands teeming with waders and waterfowl, winding chalk rivers, gorse and heather-clad heathlands, flower-rich meadows, windswept shingle beaches and remote uplands moorland and peat bog. Each SSSI will have a management plan and a list of operations requiring the SNCOs consent prior to carrying out works.


Any activity that recklessly or intentionally harms the SSSI (ASSIs in Northern Ireland) or its flora or fauna will be an offence liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000 or on conviction on indictment to an unlimited fine. If you know the name of the Site of Special Scientific Interest and want to know more about it, you can search for it by country at England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.


Restrictive Covenants


A restrictive covenant is a promise by one person to another, (such as a buyer of land and a seller) not to do certain things with the land or property. It binds the land and not an individual owner, it "runs with the land". This means that the restrictive covenant continues over the land or property even when the current owner(s) sells it to another person. Restrictive covenants continue to have effect even though they may have been made many years ago and appear to be obsolete.


Covenants or other restrictions in the title of a property or conditions in a lease may require the consent of a third party prior to carrying out some sorts of tree work, including removing trees and hedges. This may be the case even if TPO, CA and felling licence regulations do not apply. In which case it may be advisable to consult a solicitor before creating potential problems.




This is what a TPO Notice looked like in 1983. You will see that in the third paragraph the recipient is advised of their right to make representations to the Chief Executive, at that time Kenneth Wilson, within 28 days from the date of service of the Notice. On the 10th of October 1983, a letter was sent to this council clearly stating the grounds upon which objection was being made. Though the letter was well within time, this council's response was to deny that the letter constituted a valid objection.





This is the letter that was sent to Wealden by way of objection. Not only is the word 'Objection' clearly installed, but considered grounds are given. This council then sought to ignore the objection as per their letter below dated the 16th of November 1983.




You can see from this photograph Circa 1983, that there were sycamore trees growing from within a historic coal bunker. The trees had partially pushed over the south facing wall and completely undermined the brick built structure. It was much the same all over the site. If left untreated the fauna would have completely overrun what is now Herstmonceux Museum. Why anyone would wish to put a spanner in the works to prevent conservation works is a mystery. It seems that it is not what you know, but who you know. It is though obvious from such pictures that the work being done on site was more than justified. Coal was delivered by carts and lorries across the adjacent field, witnessed by a Deed entry for the right of way.



Nicolia (Nick) Askaroff's letter to Wicken's Estates Ltd, June 1984


1984 - From this letter found on file at Wealden's offices, it appears that the then owners of Lime, the most westerly wing of the manor house (now divided into four), were being canvassed as to their tree removals and those of Herstmonceux Museum, then known as the 'Barnhouse.' To be clear, we consider that both parties were acting in good faith, simply to look after their respective properties. It is unclear if Mr Askaroff was involved in seeking the TPO above, or if the TPO he refers to for Lime Park is another Order.




Letter from Chaffin's a local tree surgeon of note, confirming that the holly removed was dead


1989 - From about 1987, Lime Park Estate Limited (LPE) was formed, taking over from Wickens Estates Ltd. On the merry-go-round of pot shots at the owner, it was now their turn to seek to hinder progress on the site. The directors of LPE issued proceedings against the then owner, claiming damages for the removal of a holly tree, in breach of a Deed Covenant. As you can see from the above letter to the owner's solicitors, Lawson Lewis & Co., the holly in question was dead. Rather amusingly, it transpired that after a survey, that not only was the holly dead, but it was not even within the boundary of Lime Park, hence, LPE had no business seeking damages in the first place. The directors of LPE at the time are a matter of public record, and included Peter Townley (The Rectory) and Henry Arnell (Linden House), among others. These gentlemen are on record as wanting to purchase the site, and in Henry's case, bulldoze it. Such neighbors are a conservationists nightmare. The case never got to court. Rather sheepishly, LPE simply did not progress matters until it was struck out. Think though of the wasted costs and time.  P J Chaffin Ltd offer an excellent service and may be contacted at: Chapter House, Priesthawes Farm, Hailsham Road, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 6QU. Telephone  01323 768180  Email:






Tree Pruning (Tree Cutting)

Trees are living things, having their own natural defence and maintenance systems. Life, death and decay are all part of this natural cycle and these systems ensure its survival. As time has evolved trees have moved from their natural environment of forests and woodlands and are now put under stresses and strains from unnatural sources, making it more difficult for these systems to work. Most pressures are suffered from man and as a result are adversely affected by such things as root cutting, branch breakage, pollution and most importantly, poor pruning techniques. Natural defects in trees that are not a problem in their natural environment can become a hazard in suburbia. For this reason, trees in our cities and towns require extra maintenance to keep them in a safe and healthy condition. Tree pruning or tree cutting is carried out for a variety of different reasons, not always for the benefit of the tree. Trees or their branches are often considered to be a nuisance or are causing an obstruction. Some tree pruning may be in the interests of tree health, public safety or both. Common terms for these tree pruning operations are crown lifting, crown reduction, crown thinning, dead-wooding and pollarding.

All tree pruning cuts cause a wound, opening up the inside of the trunk or branch to harmful pathogens, especially decay forming fungi. The best protection against this is the trees own defensive processes. If pruning is carried out correctly such defenses are normally effective. Incorrect cuts damage the natural defensive barriers within the wood. It is therefore vitally important that you choose the right contractor to carry out this specialist work, and that all works are carried out to BS 3998: 2010 Tree work – Recommendations.

Below are common terms that refer to different tree pruning operations:

Crown Lifting

The crown of a tree includes all of its branches. If lower branches are removed, the effect is to raise the crown. Dependant on the size of the tree, this can sometimes be the only remedial work required to allow light infiltration or appeasing neighbors. This type of pruning is often carried out on public highways to ensure passing traffic does not cause damage.

Crown Thinning

On some species the branch growth within the crown can be dense but by removing small inward growing branches throughout the crown can be very effective. This process can also reduce wind resistance and the overall ‘sail area’ of the crown. If this process is overdone, it can allow long branches to move more independently which could result in breakages during high winds. The overall look of the tree will also be compromised.

Crown Reduction

A common complaint regarding trees is they are too high. It should be noted that if a tree is in good health and is firmly rooted, the height of a tree does not make it necessarily make it dangerous. If the stability of the tree is in question you should seek advice, and crown reducing or thinning may be an option to alleviate the stress of weaker points. Unfortunately, in some cases it may be necessary to consider completely removing the tree and replant in mitigation of its loss. For more information regarding tree removal please refer to our Tree Removal and Tree Stump Removal pages. Reductions may also be a consideration for trees that were planted in inappropriate locations for their size, for example, close to buildings, or beneath electricity wires. Generally, the reduction would be over the crowns entirety to maintain its natural shape and form and depending on its species, up to approximately 30%.

Crown reduction is not the same as ‘topping’ or ‘lopping’ (a description of these terms can be found below). Crown reductions are achieved by carefully selecting and cutting back to side branches, to reduce the injury and decay to the tree. Very substantial crown reductions can be detrimental to tree health due to the loss of leaf area and the large wounds created.

Removal of Deadwood (Dead Wooding)

There are a number of reasons why deadwood occurs in trees, and during the demise of the branches they can become host to different pathogens and harmful decay fungus that can eventually spread to other branches or even the main stem of the tree. Eventually these branches will fail which could incur damage to the public or property. Deadwood can occur due to storm, vehicle or other mechanical damage, the natural shading of other branches or commonly through poor tree pruning techniques such as ‘topping’ and ‘lopping’ as long stubs are left without leaves causing die back. For these reasons it is beneficial that dead wood is removed.

Lopping and Topping

These terms are no longer generally used in modern arboriculture and only generally in forestry. The tem ‘topping’ referred to the removal of the upper crown of a tree and ‘lopping’ of side branches. This practice causes significant wounds detrimental to the health of a tree and has now been removed from legislation in the recently revised BS 3998, in favour of the more common and better practice terms of crown thinning and crown reductions.


This is a practice for certain species of tree as it can cause significant wounds. It involves the removal of branches for many reasons for example, preventing trees outgrowing their allotted space, reducing the shade cast by a tree and may be necessary on street trees to prevent electric wires and streetlights being obstructed.

Listed below are a few of the species that pollarding is acceptable:

Ash (Fraxinus)
Common lime (Tilia × europaea)
Elm (Ulmus)
Elder (Sambucus)
London plane (Platanus × hispanica)
Mulberry (Morus)
Oak (Quercus)
Some species of Acer (A. negundo and its cultivars)
Tulip tree (Liriodendron)

Pollarding a tree is generally done on a three year cycle. The practice requires leaving a trunk supporting three or five branches depending on the size of the tree, cut back to a desirable length. As the wood lays down annual growth rings, the union strengthens, often forming a thickened base where the shoot meets the trunk. Over a number of years, a swollen 'pollard head' forms where new shoots grow each year and repollarding would involve cutting back this growth to the pollard head.



Wealden District Council corporate branding






1983 - The obstinacy of some councils is staggering, bordering on stupidity. Firstly, this TPO concerns a historic building, about which Ashley J Brown, the District Planning Officer, failed to either take into consideration, or ask the County Archaeologist, or English Heritage for advice. The signature on this letter is that of Ian Kay, an officer that was involved in the unlawful Bushywood Animal Sanctuary demolition, and many other dubious cases where Wealden's moral compass in known to have been 180 degrees out of kilter.


As you can see for yourself, the then owner had written a letter dated the 10th of October 1983, in which he states: "I have to acknowledge receipt of letter dated the 23rd of September 1983 with accompanying Tree Preservation Order to which I am objecting on the following grounds:- " 


This is a verbatim quote, including the underlining of the words I am objecting. Plainly, Mr Brown and Mr Kay were not used to being challenged and appear to have thrown all their toys out of the pram at the merest hint that they might be wrong. This is the same A J Brown that led a campaign to hide the archaeology of the Museum building and prevent a beneficial use over some 20 years - regardless of the facts. Mr Brown is recorded as refusing to accept the history of the building, even when English Heritage had placed it on a Monument Protection Program. We hope, that along with our readers, Wealden District Council can see the funny side of this - and perhaps learn from their mistakes. We would suggest an audit of officers where a member of the public shows them to be wrong time and time again. They audit the performance of schools, why not councils. And why not a a fraud squad dedicated to malicious planning blight.


The so-called "shed" that Mr Brown refers to has a substantial concrete base, 9" brick walls that are linked to brick courtyards, glazed clay pipe drainage, and is historically recorded as a store for the firewood in the works of Augustus Hare. The store building is substantial in size. It stored faggots that were used to light the boilers for the gas and steam machinery on site. The Holm oak complained of had split one wall in two, pushing the parts open to form a gaping breach. The building could not thus be moved as rather flippantly suggested. Additionally, the Holm Oak referred to had been (obviously) damaged by lightning as a later site visit confirmed, where a bough from one tree (that had been struck) was caught up in the crown of a neighboring Holm oak. All along Wealden's planning and legal departments were living in cloud cuckoo land. Like a naughty puppy they forced the owner to rub their noses in the pooh that they had made for themselves. In so exposing the officers who had been caught out, those officials did not apologize, but instead of saying sorry, looked for other means to obstruct conservation. Their motive looks to us to be revenge for pointing out their error - plain and simple. In those days there was no internet, letting councils, more or less, do as they pleased. Naughty puppy.




1984 - Here is a copy of the letter dated the 26th of March 1984, confirming the Unopposed Tree Preservation Order number 34. If we had not seen this letter with our own eyes, we would not have believed it. But here it is, in black and white. Objection had been lodged in writing as is plain from the letter above dated the 10th of October 1983.




1984 - We have found that those who make out a good case, and simply re-affirm their argument, will eventually bring a naughty puppy back to the litter tray. It may take some patience, but keep writing, even stating the obvious, and eventually the bad dog will have to take notice. If they do not, there are several methods of appealing misfeasance in public office, the first of which is the Local Government Ombudsman. With the LGO, misfeasance is referred to as maladministration. It all amounts to the same thing, but a finding of maladministration will not get a repeat offender removed from council offices. Council officers know that and rely on people not being able to take action against fraudsters, to keep their jobs. In our humble opinion, Immunity such as this should not be allowed. The last straw is a Judicial Review. But beware of that. Single Judges in the UK have to give permission for a JR to proceed and the courts favour councils, so rarely grant permission, unless a QC barrister is in the works.  In other words, English law is for the rich only. You might think that that is a violation of Article 14 (discrimination against the poor), and you may be right - but there we are. Dear old Queen Victoria, with her vision of equality at law for all the people, is getting further away than ever before, now with Legal Aid withdrawn for just about all cases. And that is in itself a violation of Article 6.




1984 - As you can see it took some doing, dragging the naughty puppy to a Tribunal to have its nose rubbed in its own faeces. But, eventually the 1983 Order was changed, thanks to a site visit when the facts could not be fudged - with 3 trees out of 20 removed at the first bite (see revised schedule below). We recommend that if you are faced with such a ridiculous Order, that you tackle it one stage at a time. Councils like to cost ratepayers and developers money. The way to beat them is to engage using their own tactics against them, and start costing them money [See: The Art of War by Sun Tzu]. 


Treat it like a game of chess and turn the other cheek. Be prepared to take a few slaps, with each slap eventually going against the council concerned. Chapter 3, Sun Tzu quote: 


"So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself."


The average man on the street will not know the makeup of his council or their relationship with near neighbours. Take time out to learn. You are fortunate today to have the internet. In 1983 there was no such thing. Council's were a closed shop - for members only and mates of members. This was of course a recipe for corruption recognized in the (Lord) Nolan Committee Report. We mention this for good reason, because just this one TPO case history reveals everything that is bad about local authorities. As you read on you may realize, as we have, that there should never have been a TPO in the first place.




On further examination this Order proved to be seriously defective. But, our expert only picked up on that after surveying the site with a tape measure - when looking at the proximity to the well on site and one tree in particular that was leaning over the Museum building - worried that it may fall down. Insurers took one look at that potential hazard and refused buildings insurance.





The problem with this and many other councils, is that they get things wrong and once that happens they will stoop to almost any tactic to hide their mistakes, digging themselves a bigger hole. Compare the original site plan on the left, with the one on the right, and you will notice that they have omitted the fence line, changing it to make it look as if their dotted oval was right up to the boundary. Wealden have been known to alter plans in this fashion where litigation is concerned. We thought at first it must be an isolated error - but we were shown other cases involving other sites.


Once the innocent looking site plan above was looked at with a fine tooth comb and compared with the attached 'First Schedule,' it was realized that most of the holly and sycamore trees were outside the plan - hence, not covered by the TPO. The counting of the sycamores also left a lot to be desired. The numbers simply did not add up. All it took was to overlay the original site plan with a transparent overlay drawn correctly and things became clear (if you'll pardon the pun). Any tree not within the boundary could legally be removed. Many species not mentioned in the Order were taken down as a precaution, fearing that they would be included if this council continued with their objectionable behavior. The puppy was still not house trained and needed another lesson in good manners.





1997 - To give Wealden a chance to see their error, our curator asked for three sycamores to be removed from the TPO 34. He wrote to the council in 1997, where being un-insurable was now a major problem. The insurers were most helpful in putting their concerns in writing, by way of evidence for a second appeal, should that have been necessary. Our advice here is to prepare for an appeal and then be prepared to follow through. We know it costs a lot in time, etc, but that is what councils bank on. They gamble that most people will knuckle under. While you are at it, why not also take away the costs element upon which most councils' rely on as a means to obtain land charges and break an opponents will, otherwise, if you lose, costs might then be used against you to obtain your land at an undervalue. Using the same system (corporate) the council use, will level the playing field in the war of nerves. We'd suggest using a limited company to make any application.




1997 - Wealden, still with Ashley Brown at the helm, refused the outright removal request. At this time unaware of the insurance issue and not realizing that some of the trees were outside the TPO perimeter. This included 3 holly trees. The lesson to be learned here is to make a reasonable request without revealing your hand and let the council fall into yet more poop. You need to be a good card player. Our curator turns into Daniel Craig in Casino Royale when playing poker with councils like Wealden. Still, he felt that more potty training was needed for this incontinent council. Especially as Mr Brown was known to be an amateur archaeologist - and he was obviously keeping mum about the Museum, referred to in these letters as "Oakwood.," being a historic building. As we said, this is a game of chess/poker with each player not telling the other side what they knew. The difference is that Wealden owed the owners of the building a 'duty of care,' and were failing to do their job properly. You think we had problems with the Russians during the Cold War!


The problem looming for Mr Brown, was that English Heritage, working with the then County Archaeologist at East Sussex County Council (ESCC), would soon (in 1998-99) reveal the truth about "Oakwood."  As Jim Carrey said in Liar, Liar: "The truth will set you free." And that 'truth' was about to give the Trust's curator another squadron of puppy trainers to send against the Hun in Pine Grove. The s--t was about to hit the fan. All in good time.




1998 - It is the function of the County Archaeologist to: "Produce maps of archaeologically sensitive areas to advise the East Sussex District and Borough councils on where planning applications are likely to affect archaeology. ESCC give advice on the work required to ensure that archaeological remains are recorded and, where possible, preserved.

For information regarding a planning condition or for pre-application advice please email the archaeology team at:

Section 12 of the Government's National Planning Policy Framework sets out how planning policy affects archaeology, historic areas, buildings and landscapes. See National Planning Policy Framework.

The Government sets the framework in which ESCC's Archaeology Section and Local Planning Authorities in general manage, conserve, enhance and make accessible the historic environment of East Sussex.




Ms Stephanie Wallis was at the time this council's arboriculturist. A head count was conducted in April 1998 during which it was found that whoever had compiled the TPO in 1983, had been counting stems as trees, rather than stems from one tree, as just one tree. At least that is what it seemed from the above plan provided to the council and agreed during one site visit. It is also clear from the above plan that more than one sycamore and several holly trees were outside the TPO perimeter. Ms Wallis took careful measurements witnessed by our curator and agreed that that was so. There were not 10 sycamores on site and two of the 9 were outside the TPO, making 7 sycamores to deal with.


Of the 3 holly trees in a row, one became unstable in 1985 and fell over, it being affected by disease - confirmed by local tree surgeon P J Chaffin. A second holly blew over in the 1987 storms. A third had died and became so dangerous swaying in the wind, that it had to be cut down. Two other holly trees were outside the TPO.


Obviously, those trees that were identified as being outside the plan were immediately taken out of the equation, to prevent additional nuisance TPO service. Our consultant  advises that when playing against a deviant council, that you should have a friendly tree surgeon on hand with a chainsaw revved up and ready, to be able to take immediate action. Record everything (conversations) and send all post by Royal Mail using their recorded delivery service. Do not rely on emails that a council can later deny receiving.


The discovery and confirmation of the inconsistencies in this TPO were raised in further correspondence through 1998 into 1999. Wealden's 'Tree Warden' was Rex Pettigrew. It seems that the condition of the trees and their natural demise had not been monitored as well as it might have been.


To be continued ......... We learned that Ms Walis returned to New Zealand soon after this round of negotiations. We do hope that her departure was not because she was arguing that these trees should not have been in a TPO.




1998 - Insurance was not possible because of the dangerous position of two sycamore trees and the damage they had done to the retaining (courtyard) brick wall. Despite Wealden's protestations as to not being liable, if they are responsible for bringing about a situation that could lead to nothing but destruction of property - they are indeed liable by way of negligence in their duty of care to the historic built environment.





This was the curator's follow up letter to Ms Wallis dated the 9th of February 1998. Note that the recorded delivery number is a stick on label. They don't use those anymore, sadly. It is clear from recordings of committee meetings that Wealden's planning officers were using the existence of the TPO as a character assassination tool, aimed at defeating planning applications that were at that time being made. No longer, since the expense is considerable and pointless with such disgraceful tactics being used routinely by a hard core of long-serving officials seeking to protect their pensions, by not being caught out.





16 July 1998 - As a result of the examination of the site, and after realization that many of the trees in the original order had been either blown down, subject to rot, or were simply not inside the boundary plan, Wealden issued TPO number 26, which superseded TPO 34 of 1983. Trees T1 - T5 on the attached Site Plan were Sycamores. Tree T6 is a Holm oak. The above letter was written by Clifford Bradshaw, according to the signature.




16 July 1998 - This is the relevant extract of the Site Plan attached to TPO 26. From 20 trees in 1983, we are now down to 6 trees. This council forced the occupier to remove much of Limestone Cottage, even where the brick and stone foundations clearly identified the form of what was a converted piggery and 2nd World War Anderson shelter. Our hero was not though happy with this outcome, because T3 was leaning over the main generating buildings, which were now uninsurable. He had no choice but to appeal. The tide was turning, and as we mentioned above, this council's fouled litter tray was about to receive a dose of constipation treatment, with a little help from a group of archaeologists, whose job it was and is to identify and preserve historic buildings - or rather, clarify the historic position for council's who have difficulty identifying finds on their doorstep.


In fairness to the arboriculturists working for this council, they probably were not given information of the history of the building, operating on blind trust on the instruction of the planning and legal departments. Planners and Lawyers in any council play the role of the Gestapo when compared to Hitler's administration. They are like traffic wardens - extremely unpopular. Please note the close proximity of trees T1 - T5 to the building. The general rule is that no tree should be within 30 feet of a historic building. So, how far do you think this group of trees are to the historic elements of the old generating works?


You can work out from the sheer volume of correspondence on just trees surrounding the historic generating buildings that this Council have it in for the occupier.


Now multiply that by the other elements of litigation and several planning applications and appeals - and you may care to agree that Wealden have made a career out of obstructing the occupier is some kind of state sponsored eugenics programme - designed to prevent persons that this Council deem undesirable from peaceful enjoyment of property, contrary to Article 1 or Protocol 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998.




FORMAL NOTICE - TPO 26 of 1998, was dated the 16th of July 1998. Once again, where a Notice is served, you should respond in time and clearly state your objections. The best form of defence is attack. At this point in time there were still defective trees in the old Order from 1983 and a ghost tree that was not there at all. Possibly, one that was well outside the old Order, or possibly one that was included by accident in a miscount. Who knows. Regardless of the reasons for error, a council owes the affected public a duty to get things right.




TPO 26 1998 - This is a list of those served under the order - all neighbours in Lime Park. At this time many neighbours in the Park had succumbed to the spin of this council, that there was no history attaching to the Generating Buildings. Maybe that was what they wanted to believe, or perhaps they just didn't care. Fortunately, there are those who are passionate about conserving our past for our future. Of this list Mr & Mrs Ingram moved to Heathfield. Mrs Arnell also sold up after Henry passed away (RIP) and Mr Askaroff is no longer resident in Lime Park, though he may have been instrumental in seeking the original Order.




TPO 26 1998 - This is a list of the trees that were suggested as being on the grounds within the boundary of the Order.




NOTICE OF OBJECTION - Lodged on the 30th of December 1998. Wealden had failed to Confirm the Order or make the arrangements for a Tribunal to hear Objections of the most affected occupier. In order to galvanize this council to action, it was necessary to take the bull by the horns and treat the trees. Negligence on the part of any council is a serious issue. Any losses arising from the threat of service of a TPO, or the actual service and confirmation of a proposed order, is actionable in law. Be sure then to keep pushing. Do not just sit there and do nothing, hoping it will all turn out okay. It won't. It will go against you in the long haul.




JANUARY 1999 - Into another year, and Wealden appear to have run themselves out of time with the proposed TPO number 26. Their solution was to serve further Notice in anticipation of Objection being lodged. By this time the council had been beaten at appeal by the curator and knew that he was more than capable of arguing a solid case. More to the point, the curator was appealing in person, so no costs were involved for the appellant. Costs are a major factor. Most ordinary people would not be able to afford to employ a town planner, let alone the army of specialists that it might take to win a case. For this reason most councils get away with blue murder.




JANUARY 8 1999, NOTICE OF OBJECTION - Never let a council get away with an assumption that you know to be wrong. Frequently notices are not served, which, if not challenged immediately as to the facts, will come back to haunt you. A council will argue that service was valid, when it was not - and they will get away with it because you said nothing at the time. A record of recorded delivery service should be checked and saved for future reference. The above letter reports non-service, and that fact alone might invalidate a Notice. Other facts might also invalidate the service of a Notice. Our advice is to check any Notices very carefully for any defect. Procedural irregularities could render any proposed Order ultra vires.





MARCH 5 1999 - A further site visit was held when Wealden's experts realized that the site plan attached was defective in including trees (ghosts) that were not physically as plotted, which, if incorrectly plotted in the legal sense never existed at all. If this matter had gone before a Tribunal, the appellant would have won and potentially, could have been awarded costs against the council's negligence. 


From a supposed 20 trees in the original Order number 34 of 1983, we are now down to 3 trees remaining on site. But this is where things start to go wrong again for Wealden. Because, their planning and legal departments had been trying their best to cover up the history of the building. In fact ever since 1983. But other agencies who exist to protect industrial archaeology, are more concerned with uncovering the truth. The naughty puppy was about to get its nose rubbed in yet more of its own pooh. The puppy kept running away from the pile of rotting faeces it had created for itself and the curator kept on dragging the puppy, whining and yelping back for another nose dive into the quagmire. This is what is known as turning the tables.


It could be argued that in not carrying out a historic and/or archaeological evaluation of the premises in 1983, before service of any TPO Notices - and for the consideration of any subsequent planning application - that this council abused the basic human right of the curator, to a fair hearing. See Article 6 of the HRA 1998. In our opinion there is no argument about it, the curator's rights were violated, causing him huge anxiety and expense - and that of course interferes with his right to peaceful enjoyment.




September 5 2013, APPLICATION - Solar Cola Ltd., is one of the Trustees of the Museum. When Lime Park Heritage Trust found out about the dangers of weed trees to buildings, they were not amused. If you check on the web you will find out that sycamore trees are internationally recognized as invasive. No wonder then that they got the bit between their teeth - as seen in the argument/grounds for removal.


We don't know if you've noticed but investigations into crimes in the Wealden District is highly selective, even Petitions containing 12 unrelated complainants are not investigated by Sussex Police, not when it's their chums at Wealden who are to be investigated. At least one of the planning officers the subject of these twelve complaints was related to a mason.




Herstmonceux Museum, Lime Park, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, BN27 1RF

Phone/Fax: 01323 831727    Email:


F.A.O. Kelvin Williams                                                                               
Head of Planning & Environmental Services
Wealden District Council
Vicarage Lane, Hailsham
East Sussex, BN27 2AX                                                                                 30 August 2013

Dear Mr Williams,

Tree Preservation Orders No. 26 1998 & 43 1999

Thank you for your letter dated the 8th of August 2013.

Please find attached the completed application form accompanied by a site (TPO) plan and four photographs (A to D) showing the damage these trees are causing to a courtyard wall, the lean and height of one of the trees and the position in relation to Herstmonceux Museum.

Photograph A shows the height and angle of lean of the most dangerously positioned sycamore.

Photograph B is a close up of the trunk (left) less than 4 feet away from the brick courtyard corner with a corrugated roof sheet (right) of a lean-to as a marker for the brick wall below.

Photograph C shows inside the lean-to roof, underneath which the brick courtyard wall is several courses missing leading into the corner.

Photograph D shows the bulge in the brick wall caused by root pressure from the adjacent sycamore.

Acer pseudoplatanus is considered an environmental weed in parts of Australia. It is also considered to be invasive in New Zealand, Norway, and environmentally sensitive locations in the UK. The United States Department of Agriculture considers it invasive, as does the State of New York, ranking it high in problematic terms.

CMC Associates, the European Geosciences Union and other media, confirm root damage by the Acer species, indicating a radius of 9-12 meters (29-39 feet), within which structural damage will occur. The two Sycamore trees in question are well within the danger radius, but it does not end with root damage – though this being a recognised problem, the building will be uninsurable until such times as the problematic flora is neutralised – which no doubt your Council considered when making the Order. That fact of course renders your Council liable for any damage and ongoing remedial works, and you may want to consider striking your own Order in the interests of saving the public purse.

Every council is charged with a duty to protect the historic built environment. We wonder then why it is that invasive weed trees, that would inevitably cause problems for the owners of the building, were included in an Order on land the site of a Historic Monument?


Logically, that was an exercise bound to incur expense for the Council and the ratepayer – for no genuine purpose whatsoever that we can determine, but would be bound to cause damage to the Historic Monument, which councils are duty bound to protect.

Several sycamores have been removed from an earlier Order made by your Council in this location for precisely the same reasons that we are applying for herein.

In view of the illogicality identified above, it might be prudent to deal with each tree by way of a separate application, such as to focus on the issues correctly, unless you can provide sound reasoning for your Council’s actions interim. Our enforcement specialist will not pull any punches as to reasons for what may be more than simple negligence.

Maintenance of heritage assets is essential to prevent decay. Britain was the world’s first industrial nation, but many industrial sites have been lost or are at risk due to functional redundancy, including Herstmonceux Museum, which has no reasonable or beneficial use. A survey by English Heritage reveals that the percentage of industrial buildings at risk is three times greater than the national average for other buildings at risk.

Your council is behind other councils in not having compiled a list of buildings of local interest, and that fact tells us that you do not consider that the historic built environment to be a high priority in terms of expenditure, though expenditure working against conservation appears to be routine; as in the making of inappropriate tree preservation orders. Yet your Council has a duty to provide an effective administration and to be reasonable.

Herstmonceux Museum is on the English Heritage Monuments At Risk register and would most likely have become a listed building on our application, but we cannot rely on any council that makes TPOs in denial of nationally accepted criteria. That illogicality and the tendency to inappropriate enforcement, is and has been the log-jam preventing progress on this site, where, were we a listed building, abuse of authority concerning such status, is likely from the pattern that we have in front of us on reading a voluminous file of enforcement expenditure that beggars belief.

We are though hopeful that the officers and executives that engaged in such tactics for whatever reason they did so, are now out of the loop. It is of course newly illegal to cause loss, or even the risk of loss to another by way of omitting to carry out an administrative function correctly. Herstmonceux Museum is a building that deserves special consideration being the only one of its kind in the world surviving. Copy of the EH register entry attached.

We have not considered it necessary at this stage to engage an arboriculturalist, where the damage to the building from trees is clear from the photographs, as a site visit will confirm. So to, the services of a structural engineer and quotes from builders will only be necessary should your Council decide to pay for works to protect the building from future damage, rather than agree removal of the tree/trees, which expense is of course recoverable from yourselves in that event.


You may like to consider that it is not just the cost of rebuilding the courtyard wall that your Council is liable for in compensation (between £2-3,000), it is also the cost of underpinning and other reinforced concrete and associated works that are reckoned to exceed £150,000 on a sensitive archaeological site such as this, plus the ongoing cost of persistent monitoring, and treatments to prevent saplings taking hold, drains blocking and the like, estimated at around £300 per calendar month.

We will be entitled to such compensation as is established by national caselaw, but your Council may well be able to recover such sums from any officer who deviated/deviates from national policy, according to our enforcement expert, as seen in the Local Government and Housing Acts, linked to Section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006. It is a pity that the seriousness of these issues had not been brought to our attention earlier.

Please also find attached other supporting documentation, numbering printouts from 5 websites centering on root and invasive damage, etc, that we cite evidentially:

1. DEC New York State
2. Ecotreecare
3. OMC Associates
4. Demand Media – tree roots & structural damage
5. European Geosciences Union – building damage from tree roots

We will be grateful if you will acknowledge safe receipt on this application and please let us have optional times and dates when your representative would like to conduct a/the site visit.

Yours sincerely,

Solar Cola Limited (Director) as Trustee
for Lime Park Heritage Trust



AUGUST 30 2013 - The above letter was accompanied by an indexed bundle of exhibits that are available freely on the world wide web. It seems to us that the argument is a strong one and the the naughty puppy was about to get it's nose well and truly rubbed in the pooh - and that they knew it. It was not a set-up, but it might well have been.


It costs a few bob to mount such a comprehensive argument, but as the information was free from the internet, all it needed was some good photographs, and a rifle through the archives to extract the Monument Protection Program entry number, etc. Thus, even at £120 an hour, this application cost no more than £500, plus a bit extra for covering letters, etc. Should such matter go to appeal, in some cases where a council has, or is being unreasonable, costs may be awarded in favour of the applicant.




OCTOBER 28 2014 - As you can see from the Council's decision letter, trees T2 and T3 were removed from TPO 43 of 1998, leaving just one tree remaining in the Order, a Holm Oak designated as tree T6. T6 is on the southernmost west corner of the Museum premises. The tree had caused damage to a garage belonging to Camille de Kok, which she took down in late 2011, presumably because the foundations had become unstable and the wooden garage was not in any case in a sensible location. With this garage down the tree will do rather better than previously, which, no doubt will please Wealden District Council and the neighbours who asked for the tree to be protected way back in 1983. This tree has significant amenity value. According to the experts, it was the only tree that has any charm - and it would have been looked after in any event, with or without a TPO. What then the cost to the taxpayer of putting the other 19 trees in a Tree Preservation Order. Is that a sustainable practice. Is that a practice that keeps property affordable. Not on you life. Naughty Puppy!


On a lighter note, pray tell squire, what is a 'Tree Presentation Order?' Obviously a slip of the quill, but it had us rolling around in merriment, imagining a ceremony where the Chairman of the council concerned hands the tree owners a parchment, perhaps to a drum roll, followed by a banquet. 


You may have noticed that the above consent was in connection with an application for just one sycamore to be removed. Now, just occasionally, you will find that there are some good people working hard to do what is right. In this case the arboriculturalist, Mr Webber, was just one such soul. He appraises the lay of the land and without hesitation removed two dangerous sycamores from the equation - saving his council considerable expense, had the matter gone to a Tribunal. The only remaining obstacle was bats. This was a self-imposed obstacle, for the curator is most fond of these leathery creatures and would not knowingly cause them distress. An evening vigil followed, lasting many months to be sure none of the flying mammals were quartered nearby, and especially not in, or on, the subject trees. Joyously, the animal lover discovered that the pesky sycamores contained no surprises. But beware the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, for that may yet see an unwary lumberjack at the gallows.





Adaptive growth

An increase in wood production in localised areas in response to a decrease in wood strength or external loading to maintain an even distribution of forces across the structure.

Adentitious/epicormic growth

New growth arising from dormant or new buds directly from main branches/stems or trunks.


Bracing is a term used to describe the installation of cables, ropes and/or belts to reduce the probability of failure of one or more parts of the tree structure due to weakened elements under excessive movement.

Branch bark ridge and collar

See diagram 3 section 3. Natural features of a fork or union that may or may not be visually obvious. Neither the branch bark ridge nor collar should be cut.


Undifferentiated tissue initiated as a result of wounding and which become specialised tissues of the repair over time.


A void within the solid structure of the tree, normally associated with decay or deterioration of the woody tissues. May be dry or hold water, if the latter it should not be drained. Only soft decomposing tissue should be removed if necessary to access the extent. No attempt should be made to cut or expose living tissue.

Co-dominant stems

Two or more, generally upright, stems of roughly equal size and vigour competing with each other for dominance. Where these arise from a common union the structural integrity of that union should be assessed.


The cutting down of a tree within 300mm (12in) of the ground at regular intervals, traditionally applied to certain species such as Hazel and Sweet Chestnut to provide stakes etc.


The foliage bearing section of the tree formed by its branches and not including any clear stem/trunk.


Non-living branches or stems due to natural ageing or external influences. Deadwood provides essential habitats and its management should aim to leave as much as possible, shortening or removing only those that pose a risk. Durability and retention or deadwood will vary by tree species.


When a tree exhibits signs of a lack of vitality such as reduced leaf size, colour or density.


Tips of branches exhibit no signs of life due to age or external influences. Decline may progress, stabilise or reverse as the tree adapts to its new situation.


The inactive condition of a tree, usually during the coldest months of the year when there is little or no growth and leaves of deciduous trees have been shed.

Drop Crotching

Shortening branches by pruning off the end back to a lateral branch which is at least 1/3 of the diameter of the removed branch.


The application of a substance usually to the tree’s rooting area (and occasionally to the tree) to promote tree growth or reverse or reduce decline. This was only be effective if nutrient deficiency is confirmed. If decline is the result of other factors such as compaction, physical damage, toxins etc., the application of fertilizer will not make any difference.

Formative pruning

Minor pruning during the early years of a tree’s growth to establish the desired form and/or to correct defects or weaknesses that may affect structure in later life.

Fungi/Fruiting bodies

A member of the plant kingdom that may colonize living or dead tissues of a tree or form beneficial relationships with the roots. the fruiting body is the spore bearing, reproductive structure of that fungus. Removal of the fruiting body will not prevent further colonization and will make diagnosis and prognosis harder to determine. Each colonization must be considered in detail by a competent person to determine the long term implications of tree health and structure when considered alongside the tree species, site usage etc.


Lopping and Topping

Generally regarded as outdated terminology but still part of Planning legislation. Lopping refers to the removal of large side branches (the making of vertical cuts) and topping refers to the removal of large portions of the crown of the tree (the making of horizontal cuts, generally through the main stems). Often used to describe crude, heavy-handed or inappropriate pruning.

Painting or Sealing

Covering pruning cuts or other wounds with a paint, often bitumen based. Research has demonstrated that this is not beneficial and may in fact be harmful. On no account should timber treatments be used as these are definitely harmful to living cells.


The initial removal of the top of a young tree at a prescribed height to encourage multistem brancing from that point, traditionally for fodder, firewood or poles. Once started, it should be repeated on a cyclical basis always retaining the initial pollard point, or boiling as it becomes known.

Retrenchment pruning

A form of reduction intended to encourage development of lower shoots and emulate the natural process of tree aging.

Root pruning

The pruning back of root (similar to the pruning back of branches). This has the ability to affect tree stability so it is advisable to seek professional advice prior to attempting root pruning.


The degree of physiological and biochemical processes (life functions) within an individual, group or population of trees.







Politicians sometimes forget why we have the Human Rights Act (HRA). It is because of the atrocities against mankind stemming from Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and Nazi Germany in World War II. Having fought two world wars to eradicate oppression, the HRA remains as the one guiding light to preservation of the rights of the people, as opposed to the rights of the state. 


It follows that any move to dilute the protections of any Convention Right, is a move back to state oppression - now being led by the Conservative Party and David Cameron. It was the British that invented concentration camps, not Nazi Germany. The Nazis merely adopted a strategy that introduced mass killing in gas chambers, in effect, Cameron and his Party are campaigning to get rid of, so that the UK can revisit methods that are and should be outlawed. Potentially, that makes the Conservative Party the Inglourious_Basterds that Quentin Tarantino so brilliantly portrayed in the film of the same name, unsurprisingly, leading to such mythical heroes of oppressions such as Robin Hood and Django (Django Unchained).




Facebook Arboricultural Association

Wikipedia Arboricultural_Association

Wikipedia New_Zealand_Arboricultural_Association

Trees protection advice and guidance

My Builder tree surgeons UK

Scottish Construction Centre

Wood for Good

UK Timber Frame Association

UK Forest Products Association

Timber Trade Federation

Scottish Sustainable Construction Forum

Scottish Passive House Centre

Passivhaus Trust- UK Passive House Organisation

The Timber Research and Development Association

Sustainable construction materials






Get Reading farmers regret setting up business near Wokingham Borough Council rich people

The Telegraph Tree blocking view felled during the night

The following site: NetDir Muesu Lime, is advertising one of the Copyright photographs from our website as available for background or wallpaper for your mobile phone display. Be advised that we gave no such permission.




NORTH WEST ELEVATION - With the flora coming under control, the building is still in much need of a new roof. There is lots to do. Also, some of the 2nd World War corrugated iron is still to be removed and the timber behind treated and where needed, renewed. It is remarkable that this wooden building is still standing, and that is without taking into account all of the ruses that Wealden DC placed in the way as obstacles to recognition. A new roof is going to cost a pretty penny and this property does not have any reasonable or beneficial use. In English law, there is no remedy for correcting defective planning appeal decisions, even with new evidence to prove that the Secretary of State got their facts wrong. No wonder so many Scottish folk want their independence. You'd not be surprised if we told you that our curator is descended from William Wallace, otherwise known as Braveheart.




NORTH EAST ELEVATION - Trees once surrounded this interesting historic building - so that nobody knew it was there. Without proper and regular treatment, trees and other flora will eventually engulf and consume almost any building. Possibly, this was part of Wealden DC's plan. in 1983 grants were available from councils to restore historic buildings. It could be that the TPO ruse was part of a plan to prevent such a payment in respect of conservation works. Such grants are no longer available. Thus, if this was Wealden's agenda, it has succeeded. The council are though obliged to protect the historic built environment, as a duty. Naughty puppies! We wonder who might be next for potty training.




With the right conservation treatment, this unique timber building is slowly becoming more of a local jewel. Compare the north-east facing elevation with the north-west elevation in the picture above. The main difference is that the corrugated iron from World War Two has been removed from these walls. These timbers will be covered over again, but with treated timber. The remaining tall Sycamore on the right is to be lowered and if possible saved as a feature. The Holm oak seen behind the main generating buildings is protected - and as long as it continues to provide amenity value, the Trust will look after it, even though it is not native to the UK.



Sycamore and scots pine trees 


SYCAMORE & SCOTS PINES - The last tree but one in the original preservation order is this sycamore, it was removed from the order a few years ago. It is a particularly difficult tree to climb because it has no branches lower down. For this reason a ladder was used to get to the 'V' from where it was easier going. An alternative approach would be to sling a rope through the vee. When dealing with a tree this tall, do not work alone and wear some grippy shoes - and gloves if you have them.


Adjacent to the sycamore it is a scots pine that is not protected and that has seen better days and is now dropping dead branches regularly as it climbs higher and higher. The scots pine is the national tree of Scotland. Mature trees grow to 35m and can live for up to 700 years. The bark is a scaly orange-brown, which develops plates and fissures with age.

The scots pine is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers grow on the same tree. Male flowers comprise clusters of yellow anthers at the base of shoots. Female flowers are small, red-purple and globular, and grow at the tips of new shoots.

After pollination by wind, the female flowers turn green and develop into cones. They mature the following season, so there are always cones of different ages on the one tree. Mature cones are grey-brown with a raised, circular bump at the centre of each scale. 

The timber from this tree is one of the strongest softwoods available, and is widely used in the construction industry and in joinery. It is used in the manufacture of telegraph poles, pit props, gate posts and fencing. The tree can also be tapped for resin to make turpentine. Other uses include rope made from the inner bark, tar from the roots and a dye from the cones. Dry cones can be used as kindling for fires.

































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