The street trees of London

[By James Hobbs in London.] They are, I realise, in so many of the drawings that I make, but without me always noticing. Of London’s 8.4 million trees, it is estimated that around 900,000 are street trees, planted along the pavements, softening the stone and concrete. They are not just along the impressive, wide avenues of central London, but up and down the residential streets, like the one where we live. I’m not always sure what species they are, and no tree expert would be able to identify them from my drawings, but they often feature as extras, bringing nature and sometimes colour into a scene.

The council has quite recently been to prune the trees around our house. The growing roots can make the paving stones uneven, making me nervous when my elderly dad comes to stay, but it’s good to live on a tree-lined street. They even store carbon and remove pollution: what is not to like? The street trees in these drawings are alongside St Paul’s Cathedral (top) and among the new canalside developments built in City Road, Islington.


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