Concerns over health of Riverside Park jubilee oaks

Jubilee trees riverside park 10 7 23 P1040561There’s concern over some of the 70 oaks planted in Riverside Park to mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee, with many of the trees appearing less than healthy, or possibly even to have died.


Article continues after this message...

As previously reported, they were planted in early 2022 as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, and stretch along the park in a line from Cobden Bridge towards the Southern Water site on the opposite bank.

Jubilee trees riverside park 10 7 23 P1040561

But many of the 70 oaks are looking unhealthy, and some appear to have died.

As well as some vandalism, some have blamed what they feel is lack of watering – although council vehicles have been seen watering the trees.

riverside park apparent watering of trees pic Robin Bluemel A vehicle apparently watering the trees. Photo: Robin Bluemel

“When I walked past the other day many of the trees had little or no green leaves, and although there was a council van pumping substantial amounts of water into shrouds round their bases, I fear little more than half the planting will be producing leaf next year,” noted Tim Forcer in a letter to the council this month.

And local resident Sue told she believed the jubilee trees suffered from the very serious and lengthy rain-free period “without any watering at all”.

“Finally, when people started to realise that many of them were actually dying, there were lots of messages on social media asking the parks maintenance to act. A water bowser lorry was seen once in response, but it seems way too late for many of these specially planted trees.”

jubilee trees riverside park 10 7 23 P1040570

She added that “rare, erratic watering events are insufficient”, although she thought that while some of the trees are “very much dead, others might partially recover in time”.

“But the dramatic riverside avenue design has gone for good,” she suggested, labelling the whole purchasing and planting exercise as “an appalling waste of money”.

It’s thought that funding came from Southampton City Council’s tree planting budget, although the authority didn’t answer our questions about the original cost and source of funding for the trees, any maintenance budget, and whether any trees that are lost will be replaced.

Jubilee trees riverside park 10 7 23 with walkers

A spokesperson did however offer the following statement:

“Young trees are susceptible to dry spells and often this shows itself as dead or dying leaves, however, trees can recover from this in many cases and we continue to water them and keep a close eye on the trees in the park so that we can take the appropriate action to conserve and maintain them. We will be better placed to understand any losses at the end of the growing season.”


We're reader powered! Please help us keep publishing today...

Our local news is currently free to view, but not to produce. Join people just like you who already chip in to keep our site going by becoming a 'Good Friend' supporter for just £2.99 a month - or more if you can.

Use the subscribe button below using a debit or credit card securely via PayPal. You don't need a PayPal account - just use the "Pay with Debit or Credit Card' option, when you click the 'Subscribe' button below, on the next screen. There's no obligation to open a PayPal account. Or use your existing PayPal account if you prefer. Or even better, contact us to set up a standing order so we get all your sub rather than PayPal taking a percentage.

Click here for other options/to set up a standing order - and help us keep on keeping on.

It's appreciated!

Subcription Options


Alternatively make a one-off donation here - you don't need a PayPal account for this option either.