Sheffield council all set to axe 1,250 roadside trees

Sheffield Council to cut down many trees. Trees line the streets in the Nether Edge area
Sheffield Council to cut down many trees. Trees line the streets in the Nether Edge area
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Highways officials have revealed 1,250 trees deemed to be ‘diseased or dying’ are to be felled on streets across Sheffield.

And hundreds more trees could also be felled where they are deemed to be damaging road surfaces or ‘causing a hazard’ such as when roots break through the pavement surface.

Some 72 healthy trees have been removed so far.

Sheffield Council has promised to replace all trees felled with new ones – but they will not necessarily be planted in the same locations, if the existing tree is believed to be causing an obstruction.

Work is being carried out by contractor Amey, which is responsible for maintaining all 35,000 trees on the streets of Sheffield.

The plan was greeted with dismay by Nancy Grayson, of Westminster Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, Lodge Moor.

She said: “Where trees’ roots are causing damage to pavements, why not raise the surface or look at other ideas instead. I’m also staggered that so many trees are deemed to be unhealthy and need to be removed.

“The replacement trees will take years to grow back to the same size. There’ll be no greenery left for future generations.”

Sheffield Council said the ‘dead, diseased or dying’ trees had been identified in a survey.

The total number of healthy trees to be chopped down has not yet been decided.

A Sheffield Council spokeswoman said: “Our arboriculturalist specialists and highway engineers have identified trees that are dead, dying, diseased or damaging the highway.

“In many cases, there is a potential risk to the public created and work will be prioritised according to risk. Tree removal will only be undertaken as the last resort.”

She added: “We inform surrounding residents about the tree replacements in advance of a tree being felled.

“Where possible – for example if a tree is not an immediate danger – notices are placed on the tree two weeks prior to felling and residents in the immediate area will receive a letter.”

Sheffield Council said some healthy trees which caused a hazard to blind people, or pushchair or wheelchair users, could be removed.

The council said it would not replace trees where planting a new tree would be cheaper than pruning the existing species.