It should be something of a point of pique that Boris Johnson, in his pledge to plant many trees across London, recently singled out Harrow as one area in need of "greening up".
"Leafy Harrow", as it was once dubbed, has long lost its green tag with long sections of many streets like Station Road, reduced to arid tree-less, fume-filled canyons.
As a former resident, who makes regular visits to Harrow, I have noted the slow decline. Last year though, the borough came second only to Trees for Cities, an organisation involved in a "Million Trees Campaign," in planting 3,640 trees, the highest number among the London boroughs.
Nevertheless, that number still leaves a shortfall. In the last five years, Harrow has lost more than 5,000 trees to disease, storm damage and natural decline.
Of course, inexhorable development has also led to its demise. A good few mature horse chesnuts were felled for the Sheepcote Road widening scheme.
The "desertification" of Harrow is perhaps symptomatic of an age which considers a fleet of four by fours on a concreted frontage preferable to the charm of a quintessential English country garden. It's either pure materialism or pure ignorance of the benefits trees make to our well-being.
Far more than the "leafy" scene they provide - although their contribution to quality of life is not to be underrated - they are living air fresheners, filtering out up to 90 per cent of the foul fumes from our vehicle exhausts; they also act as "heatsinks" - regulating the summer heat and winter chills; soaking up water in the same way, they insulate from droughts by slowing the rain cycle plus retaining water in he ground.
Harrow still has much work to do if it is to ever restore the borough to a green space - a place where people want to be - where it can rightfully covet its former "leafy" tag.
Whippendell Road Watford