I have received the following response from the Director of Public Realm in response to a number of trees that are being felled in Sanderstead.
The Tree & Woodland Officers are currently inspecting council owned trees on the highway for safety as part of our legal obligations in the Sanderstead Ward.
Due to the on-going financial challenges and the need to undertake essential works the Officers are only identifying essential works such as dead, dying and dangerous issues in order to discharge the Councils Duty of Care.
Trees that need to be felled are being marked with painted X on the trunk in order to ensure the contractor works on the correct tree but also to highlight that the tree is to be removed. We have had a number of enquiries regarding these marked trees as local residents may believe they appear on the surface to be healthy, however they are actually severely decayed internally and thus structurally compromised. Unfortunately removal is the only viable option once a tree reaches this condition. Please note that Highway trees generally have a lifespan of around 30 years due to the hostile environment in which they live and many of them in Croydon are more than twice this age.
It generally costs around £500 per tree to purchase, plant and water for up to three years. We are still very much working towards opportunities to replace these trees and where possible sourcing external funding to continue with our successful tree planting programme which to date has seen 2500 new trees planted in the last three years. Please note that tree planting is generally undertaken between October and March and any felled trees will be added to the future tree planting programme to action as funds become available.