Dulwich College have now confirmed that the chestnut trees along the pedestrian route, known as ‘Chestnuts Avenue’, that leads from the South Circular to the heart of the College campus, are to be replaced. Most of the trees are in an unstable and unhealthy diseased condition - and several have come down in recent years.
Southwark Council has approved the removal and, after much discussion with specialist arboriculturalists, it has been agreed that there is sufficient doubt about the future of chestnuts as a species to recommend that they should be replaced with a more resilient alternative. The consensus is that the most appropriate tree to reflect and enhance the grandeur of the Avenue, and the heritage of the College site, is the Small-leaved Lime (Tilia Cordata Greenspire).
Felling will be carried out over the Easter holidays, and the new trees will be planted in the summer holidays - to allow sufficient time between felling and planting for the ground to settle before new planting takes place. The summer term at the school will therefore be unique in the College’s history on this site (since 1869), in that the avenue will be denuded of trees.