Nature-loving residents are concerned that trees in three Fulham streets will have all their branches cut off and regrow like 'upturned shaving brushes' if council plans go ahead.
According to a consultation leaflet issued to residents in Ellerby Street, Hurlingham Gardens and Ranelagh Avenue, the roads' leafy London Plane trees could soon end up half their current size.
"The high canopies that merge together across the road and provide cooling shade on hot summer days will be lost," the leaflet states. "Instead there would be a row of smaller trees of a more uniform and arguably less 'natural' appearance. The new canopy would be lower and consist of numerous young, vigorous shoots, reminiscent of an upturned shaving brush."
But Peter Aeberli, who lives in one of these roads, believes trees add value to the properties on the street.
"The trees are a characteristic of the street and it is one of the reasons we moved here," he said. "While the trees need regular pruning, as has happened in the past, people do not appear to realise how destructive the council's new proposals are."
Manager of Fulham estate agents John D Wood in New King's Road Tom de Winton said pruning the trees in this way would make property on the street less desirable. "It might mean that fewer people will be interested in buying," he said.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council's leaflet states that residents have complained about the trees growing too large and causing a nuisance, due to excessive leaf fall and a lack of daylight to houses. It says the work would solve these problems.
A council spokesman said: "We are consulting residents on plans to prune trees and welcome all comments."