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Poor communication leads to trees being removed

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Tree Cutting

One of the most commonly cited problems when it comes to trees being cut down in their prime is poor communication. A good tree surgeon will do everything they can to ensure healthy trees remain in place for as long as possible, but sometimes problems can arise. An incident in Bristol recently shows that communication problems blight local communities.

City council chiefs have held their hands up after contractors cleared an entire row of trees in Bristol. The contractors were supposed to remove a small number of trees, but over a couple of weeks, a group of trees lining a wall on a new development have been removed. The city council spokesperson said the council was embarrassed, but the situation angers many people.

The Bristol Tree Forum is calling for replacement trees. The forum has also suggested that trees on the other side of the wall were the ones that should have been replaced. The forum thinks the removal of these trees would improve the views from flat owners, and this may have led to confusion amongst the work order.

Residents angered by action

Vassili Papastavrou represents the Bristol Tree Forum and he spoke to local media, saying; “There was no consultation of any kind with the community. One day the trees were there, the next they were gone. Without any involvement from the Bristol Tree Forum, the local councillor or the local community, we can only guess why the trees were removed. The money that was spent cutting down these trees should have been used for planting new street trees, something that Bristol City Council says it has no funds to do. I’m guessing more money will now be spent to tarmac over the area where the trees once were.”

Bristol has an ambitious plan to double its tree canopy by 2050. Yet all over Bristol, on an almost daily basis, tree canopy is being lost – for multiple reasons. The Bristol Tree Forum will now be campaigning for these trees to be replaced.”

Papastavrou continued by saying; “Bristol City Council should have thought differently. For example, it should have enforced a root protection area for the last remaining beech tree. This was apparently not done and I guess we will see that last tree fail in the next ten years.”

Council admits the error

A spokesperson for the council responded, stating it was an error in communication which led to the tress being felled. The spokesperson said; “Our contractor carried out some tree felling on Redland Hill, to remove some small trees on a verge that were getting too close to a retaining wall and beginning to block the pavement, and a large Beech tree that was decaying at the base.

Unfortunately, due to a communication error, more trees were felled than we requested. We are disappointed this has happened and we are working with our tree contractor to try and avoid something like this happening again in the future. The contractor has agreed to replace the trees that were felled in error. The replacement trees are due to be planted over the next couple of days.”

While the loss of healthy trees is never positive, if the trees can be replaced quickly, the situation is better than it could have been.

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