This letter to The Star is from Mike Dodgson
Say it with flowers, this time last year the colourful spring blooms had reappeared from behind the blanket of snow left by the Beast from the East. The planting of bulbs around the bases of roadside trees by householders on our estate brought immense pleasure for their neighbours.
This year the snowdrops and crocuses were joined by the very early displays of daffodils. However, along came the Beast from South Yorkshire with his killer spray gun aimed at and around the base of all the 130 or so trees. Some years ago, snowdrops and crocuses suffered the same fate around my mother's headstone in Crookes cemetery. I cannot ever remember my mother hear me swear, and the person responsible was unavailable at the time. Such thoughtless actions, for which we unwittingly financially subscribe to, do not encourage further attempts to brighten up the base of trees and headstones.
However, we must be grateful that most of us have the benefits of the trees aligning our roadsides. The Shirecliffe Estate is still without such trees. One Star newspaper letter, "Let's improve Shirecliffe", March 10, 2017, highlighted that all the roadsides on the estate were without trees. In the last two years house improvements such as new roofing, windows, etc. have positively transformed appearances to a standard as good as any beforehand. As I recently travelled down Longley Avenue West into Norwood, I couldn't help think that there was still something missing - TREES. Trees, especially if in blossom, must surely assist in helping citizens through challenging lifetime journeys and depressing periods as well as serving wildlife and the world itself. Trees in Shirecliffe would surely be the icing on the cake.
A young tree that replaced a mature roadside tree adjacent to our house has been lifeless for two years. The sad 12 feet high vertical twig cannot even be lamented by flowers at its base where spraying has taken place but necessary watering neglected.