Banksy's Tree Mural: Our Interpretation

19 March 2024 2 minute read

Banksy's latest mural in Finsbury Park, London. Photo by James Corcoran

A new Banksy just dropped - and it’s about urban trees.

Banksy’s new statement piece is splashed across a residential building in Finsbury Park in north London, and features a person holding a paint sprayer, having just sprayed green paint to mimic the greenery of a tree. In front of the wall stands an old cherry tree, which has been freshly pollarded.

Pollarding is used to manage urban trees because they are often found in confined spaces. It also helps reduce root growth, as that can have a negative impact on surrounding buildings if left unmanaged. Winter and spring are the best times to carry out pollarding, as the tree is dormant and so reduces risk of damage.

But putting the cherry tree aside - what’s our interpretation of this new Banksy art?

The need for green

We think it’s as simple as highlighting the need for more greenery in our concrete jungles. Trees transform our towns and cities, and not just visually. Trees pump out fresh oxygen, help keep temperatures cool on hot days, and aid in directing pollutants away from pedestrians, amongst a raft of other benefits.

But they also have a positive effect on our mental health. Studies show that time spent amongst trees decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and even having a view of trees outside your window has been shown to be beneficial for your mental wellbeing.

The wall June 2022, March 2023, and now with the new graffiti. Source: Google Streetview, PA, recent photo by Laura Stanley

Trees for Islington

We’re proud to be working alongside Islington Council to support them in getting more trees in their borough through our tree sponsorship scheme, Trees for Streets. Alongside Islington Council’s existing tree strategy, residents, businesses and communities can donate towards additional tree planting in locations of their choosing. It’s a fantastic way to increase a council’s existing tree budget, and green up your local area.

Protecting the natural world

We’re grateful that Banksy’s latest mural is drawing attention to urban trees, and helping spark conversations about the importance of protecting nature. We hope that Banksy's painting will keep the tree's preservation paramount - and that of others.

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