With average house prices in the region of £35 million, Kensington Palace Gardens is home to royalty, diplomats and the fabulously wealthy.
We were lucky enough to be offered two London planes there which were being felled in February 2023. Both trees looked healthy, but surveys conducted by tree specialists had revealed that basal rot had set into the lower trunks, substantially weakening the trees and making them at risk of falling in strong winds.
The planes were felled by a team of tree surgeons over the course of half a day. We were on hand to ensure the stem lengths and cuts made were best suited for milling into boards. We also oversaw the loading of the huge trunks onto a single articulated lorry which we had hired for the day.
Tree felling is very much a spectator sport and we got to talk to embassy staff, policemen, armed guards (outside the Israeli embassy), and many other passers by. It's always exciting to watch the tree surgeon teams at work, dangling on ropes, high above the street, chainsaws buzzing!
The planes are due to be milled in March 2023 and should be air dried within 9-12 months, ready to enjoy their second lives as furniture.
Tree surgeons at work high above Kensington Palace Gardens
London plane trunks on the lorry, with the French embassy in the background.
Basal rot is clearly evident at the base of this tree milled close to the Israeli Embassy