Back in January a Star investigation revealed that some 1,200 trees were in the cross-hairs of council lumberjacks charged with razing them to the ground.
The intended action by Sheffield City Council caused uproar in some quarters, with many puzzled at quite what the criteria is for felling trees. The prospect of losing so many from the city’s skyline left many of you cold and angry. As an example, here’s a comment left on our website: “There was a lovely, mature tree, sited at the bottom of Carter Knowle Road. It wasn’t diseased by any indication, wasn’t blocking any light to houses, as it was on a large expanse of corner at the junction with Abbeydale Road, nor was it a hazard to traffic. One day early last year a yellow mark was put on it and a few days later, there was a 4ft stump of a tree that was left like that for around a month, then that was removed and the area concreted over. As yet, nothing has been put in its place or even near to where this tree was sited.” Yet today we read of a 20-year-old who is lucky to be alive after a rotten specimen tumbled from the sky and clipped her head, leaving her with minor injuries. An inch is all that stands between her tale of a lucky escape and her family facing her funeral. I should point out at this point that the tree in question was on private property, just off Ecclesall Road. The owner of said property will probably now be awaiting a solicitor’s letter. But the point is this: when the local authority, or indeed private landlords look to take out trees they believe could be a danger to the public, they should be allowed to do so without delay. Those who heap pressure upon them by insisting they must plant another healthy tree in its place ought to think of the consequences. No tree is worth risking the lives of Sheffielders for. I accept that we have a responsibility to look after our environment, and I’m all in favour of investing in saplings in the right places and for the right reasons.