Axed cherry tree landmark is a cut too far for locals
Last updated at 11:14, Thursday, 26 September 2013
RESIDENTS have reacted angrily to the axing of a cherry tree outside Whitehaven’s Marchon Club.
Hundreds of people posted messages on social media sites venting their anger over the felling of the tree on Coach Road last week by Copeland Council.
The council said the tree was in a condition “which caused them concern,” but around 500 messages on Facebook said cutting down the tree was “an act of council vandalism’’.
Residents say the axing is “one too many cost-cutting measures” and added: “We are living with unmown grass verges yet trees are being cut down.”
Coun Peter Kane, Copeland’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “We did consider options to save the tree, for example propping it, but it was simply too far gone to be safe. In the winter we will be planting a new tree there to replace it.”
Sarah Marsh has owned Revival Hair Design, directly opposite the tree, for 12 years, but first started work at Revival as a 15-year-old and has always remembered the cherry tree being there.
“It all happened so quickly. We thought it was just being cut back, but when we realised it was being cut down it was too late,’’ she said. “It was a beautiful healthy tree and there was no reason to cut it down, people were having to duck to walk under some of the branches but all it needed was a good trim.
“I was really upset. I have seen it blossom and flower for 20 years and now it’s gone for no other reason than cost-cutting.”
And she added: “That tree is my tree and I tell children not to climb on it, so when it was being cut down I asked to keep a piece just for sentimental reasons.”
Karen Hodgson, who has worked at Revival for six years, said: “Since it was chopped down people have been coming in asking what has happened to it.
”If I knew it only needed cutting back I would have done it myself rather than lose the tree altogether. It’s not just me who is horrified – so many people older than me remembered it from when they were younger.”
Coun Kane said: “We understand why this has become a talking point and we, too, think it is a shame when an attractive tree like this has to be removed – that’s why we’ll be replacing it. And we can see why people might be angry if they did not know the reason behind it.
“The tree had been leaning over the footpath for a long time now and about a week ago our parks team reported that its condition caused them concern.
“Two senior officers inspected the tree and found that, as it neared the end of its life, the leaning had caused the roots to lift up and the tree to become particularly unstable.
“There was a probability that, eventually, it would topple on to the pavement,’’ he said. “I hope people can understand that we have a statutory duty to keep people safe. I’m sure everyone would agree that simply leaving it to topple and cause damage or injury was not an option.”
First published at 11:07, Thursday, 26 September 2013
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
Have your say
Ted - "root cause" what a great pun!But on another note, if you want better councillors and think you can do better then stand yourself in 2015
Good to see that Cllr Kane is now an experienced arbourist, is there no end to his talents?
But even the worlds best tree specialist is likely to tell you trees dont just become unsafe in a year or two. The root cause of this problem is that our lords and masters have once again failed to effectively fulfill their duties in a timely manner, but, never mind theyre planting a new better one. Pity we cant grow better councillors!!!!
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