We need to replace two trees in Western Road with new, healthier species.
We understand and appreciate that our residents cherish the city’s trees and that’s why we’ve planted almost 20,000 trees and tree whips in the past year.
The decision to remove the trees on Western Road has not been taken lightly. It has been made primarily because of the health and safety risk to people in the area.
It is important that we address, and respond to, some of the misinformation about why we need to replace these two trees.
❌ "These are healthy trees"
✅ Inspections of the trees by our Arboriculture Manager found the following:
The ash is showing clear signs of decline in the canopy. This is due to either disease or environmental stress. The specific species of ash is not suited to this location.
The robinia is not growing as it should. It’s a poor specimen for the species, lacking vigour, and is stunted with very slow growth rate. A steel frame is damaging the roots, some of which are protruding from the ground, which poses a safety risk to people walking nearby.
Urban street trees have a shorter life expectancy due to the harsh environment. This means they need to be removed and replaced on a shorter cycle than trees in other locations.
❌ "Why can’t they just be left alone?"
✅ The trees will soon become unsafe in what is a very busy shopping area of the city., As the trees decline, the risk of serious injury from falling branches or toppling becomes greater.
❌ "This is just about saving money”
✅ Money is not the driving force behind replacing these trees. It’s a safety issue. Doing this work now, however, does mean that we won’t have to dig up newly laid pavement in the near future – once the Western Road improvement scheme is complete – which would result in further disruption and more costs to the taxpayer.
❌ "The trees won't be replaced"
✅ They will be replaced during this autumn/winter planting season. In addition, we plan to plant 10 new trees in the Western Road area as part of the improvement scheme.