It looks as though the writer of the recent Star letter, (November 23, 2015), entitled “Replacement trees probably best option” has not been following the story about the Rustlings Road trees closely or he or she would know that:
Saplings are never a good replacement for healthy trees, most if not all of the Rustlings Road trees are not diseased or dying, much of the little pavement heave that exists can be overcome by using sensitive engineering solutions, such as those proposed by Save Our Rustlings Trees, (SORT).
Flexi-Pave is used by councils across the country and indeed by our own.
Further, a number of disabled people have checked the length of Rustlings Road pavements in their mobility scooters and on foot and have not been inconvenienced even as the pavements are today, never mind how they will be after they have been improved using the sensitive engineering solutions proposed, if adopted.
I too have looked at the old photos of Rustlings Road, in my case from Sheffield Council’s online ‘picturesheffield.com’ collection, and I noted that although all the trees are newly planted they are more than twigs and further perusal shows that there were many more trees there then than there are now.
Over the years it’s obvious many trees have been removed and not replaced.
19 replacement trees will never bring the road back to its initial state and of course replacement trees can take decades to provide the glory and benefits that today’s mature, healthy and safe trees provide now and will for generations to come.
I acknowledge that the council and its contractors have done sterling work in many parts of the city and we can all be proud of our green city and the efforts to further develop it but we should not go overboard with compliments as there are plenty of examples where the council and its sub-contractors have got it wrong.
Acorn Wood at Loxley and the Greno Woods are two examples where management has gone wrong.
The highway tree management process is the latest, but this is one where the council has the power to ensure that Streets Ahead/Amey work to best practice standards and guidance as used elsewhere in Britain and provide a sustainable way forward to retain the maximum number of highway trees at a reasonable cost. So no, “Replacement trees probably best option”, is not correct.
There are many options and better options available and it’s about time the proposed tree panel made a start taking a serious look at the Rustlings Road trees, now reduced to eight under threat following Streets Ahead/Amey having spent a little more time investigating some of the 11 trees that were initially under threat.
But that says it all really, Streets Ahead/Amey have undertaken more research and changed their minds and made the right decision.
It’s just been too easy for Streets Ahead/Amey to say cut them down and stick in replacement trees.
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