Nothing dangerous or hazardous

I recently went to visit the 150-year-old Vernon oak and met some of the lovely people who are trying to save this beautiful tree from being felled.

Tuesday, 21st November 2017, 6:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 7:28 am
Vernon oak

The tree is healthy, it is causing no problems, it is not restricting access to the pavement and only has a very slight root protuberance which has pushed a kerb edging stone out of alignment.

There is nothing dangerous or hazardous about the tree and the minor problem could easily be resolved with a simple engineering solution, but unbelievably this glorious tree is still threatened with the chainsaw even though the Independent Tree Panel recommended it should be saved.

Over the years our street trees have been badly neglected so what makes anyone think that SCC are prepared to spend any money on the upkeep of the ‘replacements’ they are planting?

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A large number of these are doomed to fail due to lack of care or vandalism.

The tragedy of this whole sorry saga is that we are losing irreplaceable heritage trees that have stood proudly and weathered wars, disease and storms from long before anyone in this city was born and these magnificent specimens like the Vernon oak, the Huntingdon elm at Chelsea Road and the Western Road memorial trees could have several hundred years’ life left in them.

It doesn’t make sense to fell perfectly healthy trees but of course this is all about saving money on maintenance and providing lucrative work for contractors Amey.

The citizens of Sheffield need to wake up to the fact that this is not just about trees, but also affects many other important issues.

These contracts are shrouded in secrecy such as the 60-year deal with the Chinese investors and SCC were too stupid to realise the far-reaching implications of the 25-year contract they signed with Amey.

When the council say they are being open and transparent this is far from the truth, as if this were the case then these contracts would be freely available for public scrutiny.

Unfortunately the council never learn any lessons as it has been announced that four mature London planes are to be felled when they ‘freshen up’ Fitzalan Square.

These are the only mature trees left in the city centre and the very type we need to counteract the dangerous levels of pollution.

The tree disaster is a prime example of the council’s incompetence and their failure to look after this city’s valuable assets.

Susan Richardson

Westminster Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield, S10