ACT Argyll has been tending to street trees in Helensburgh, working with the Helensburgh Tree Conservation Trust to protect the trees from damage and promote tree health.

Helensburgh street trees

The Helensburgh Tree Conservation Trust (HTCT) was established in 2003 by local residents concerned about the loss of trees from the town’s streets. HTCT is a voluntary organisation and all planting and maintenance is undertaken by volunteers. To date over 1000 trees have been planted by the HTCT throughout the town.

HTCT use steel mesh guards to protect the trees from strimmer and mower damage and to discourage vandalism. This has been successful in reducing damage, but they also make weeding difficult. As a result, the inside of the cages have become overgrown and unsightly.  HTCT has also struggled to undertake other maintenance tasks such as mulching, removal and replacement of stakes and ties, fitting of strimmer guards on trees without cages, and pruning.

ACT Argyll lend a hand

This is where ACT Argyll has helped. Over the past few months, ACT Argyll has undertaken many maintenance tasks to the street trees which would otherwise have been left undone, risking damage to the trees and further losses. Specific skills our trainees have been working on include developing techniques to clear vegetation within the narrow cages without removing and dismantling them. 

HTCT has received positive feedback from the local community, pleased to see the trees being cared for and impressed by the standard of work and the professionalism of the team. HTCT praised the work of the ACT Argyll team “The Helensburgh Street Trees are a defining characteristic of the town and a major part of it's heritage.  The works undertaken by ACT to help maintain and enhance the trees has been a major contribution to the town and to the community.”

What did the team get out of it?

The team enjoyed working with HTCT, and had this to say:

From Robert Hart (trainee):

“Working with The Helensburgh Tree Conservation Trust was an experience that was both enjoyable and invaluable. Braving the weather we learned the benefits and diversity of trees in our local area. Understanding the steps taken to replant, maintain and preserve such species as Birches and Serbian Spruce gave us an insight into the workload involved. From re-edging the base and laying fresh mulch to adjusting cages for access. The importance of protecting these trees from harm became clear, helping to provide access down the line without damage to the trees. Our team felt a sense of pride in knowing that we played a part in keeping these trees growing strong. We can walk around the area and feel a sense of achievement, that others could enjoy the beauties hiding in plain sight along our streets. We have pride in knowing that we have contributed to preserving the environment.”

From Philip Blackwell (trainee):

“It was rewarding to make such a change along the streets of Helensburgh”

The Helensburgh Tree Conservation Trust hopes to maintain a continuing working partnership with ACT. 

Before weeding inside the metal cage After weeding ACT Argyll trainee hard at work