The holm oak is a magnificent, broad-headed large and non-native tree that grows spectacularly well on the IW.

The furore about the pollarding of the trees in Los Altos Park is sadly misguided.

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Firstly, because the line of trees that are being pollarded were never planted to be anything but a hedge and in no way would they ever be able to make the magnificent trees that they can be when space allows. Secondly, when grown as a hedgerow they should have been managed as such a long time ago; due to the protracted period of mismanagement, the remedial work being undertaken is long overdue, for, as the Isle of Wight Council is saying, safety reasons.

The potential for these overcrowded and drawn trees to become a safety hazard is very real indeed.

Thirdly, if, as the council is suggesting, they are going to plant more British native species parallel to these holm oaks this will greatly increase the biodiversity of the park and improve the amenity value hugely.

It is always immensely difficult for people to have a view other than what appears to be wanton destruction when tree removal or remediation is undertaken, a lack of knowledge about trees and their management usually leads to conflict.

Of course there are some horrendous examples of incorrect tree surgery and removal everywhere and over the years there have been some dreadful examples on the Isle of Wight perpetrated by the council and private individuals in equal measure.

In this instance, however, this is the right course of action and is better than the future alternative of total removal of weak and dangerous trees.

The ability of the Holm oak to regenerate is phenomenal and I have much experience of doing this I enclose for interest images of a project that I undertook in February 2019 and the resulting hedge in September 2020.

This is an exact example of what has happened with the trees at Los Altos, although in my case I was aiming to create a formal hedge which will eventually be 3.5 m tall. it is very possible to have a relatively quick turnaround and indeed I hope that this may act as some comfort to those who fear the worst.