Three of eleven trees at the centre of a city-wide campaign will not be cut down after a root excavation took place yesterday.
The Streets Ahead team dug by hand around three trees on Rustlings Road, near Endcliffe Park to expose the roots to see if work can be carried out around the trees so they can be retained.
The council findings concluded that three of the trees have deep enough roots so that work can take place around them.
Cllr Terry Fox, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We have always said that where it is possible to retain a tree, this is what we will work hard to do, and we have clearly shown that we are serious about that commitment.
“The hand excavation works that took place this morning (October 23) were always planned to take place on these three trees that were borderline.”
A campaign to save the 11 trees on the road has grown into a call for city-wide scrutiny of felling as part of Sheffield Council’s Streets Ahead project with contractor Amey.
Amey had said that the trees are damaging the pavements and seven will have to be axed and replaced because of the ‘extent of the damage’ they are causing. It says that another tree is diseased and will have to be replaced.
However, campaigners from Save Our Roadside Trees (SORT) said that the excavation was ‘smoke and mirrors’ and the council have failed to address the issues surrounding all of the trees.
They asked why the work is going ahead before a meeting in November to discuss alternative solutions that they presented previously at a highway tree forum earlier this year.
Louise Wilcockson campaigner for SORT said: “We are very glad that these tree will be saved but we should not forget that they are the only three out of eleven that the Council have said they may consider saving.
They have still failed to address the issues raised pertaining to all the trees – and eight remain firmly on the felling list. This should not get lost in the smoke and mirrors of this week’s root excavations.”
Campaigners are also concerned that once the roots have been excavated loose filling will be used on area around the trees’s roots wqhich they say could lead to root damage and disease.
No trees have been removed at the site so far.