Letter: Poor tree work is rife in Rotherham

AS I have been professionally involved in the arboricultural industry for 40 years I read with interest the letter from Mr Ray Hill where he expresses his concern about poor tree management.

I have not seen the site in question but I would guess that the probable removal of the trees was purely through lack of knowledge of trees and their requirements. The trees will have been initially been planted on the whim of the architect who, at the planning stage, has decided that site needs trees to improve the aesthetic of the area. This is a common mistake where ignorance allows any type of tree to be planted in any situation. Trees grow!

All too often good quality trees are removed, or mutilated, by inexperienced operatives because they have been planted in the wrong place.

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It is good to know that Mr Hill is aware of the benefits of trees in our towns but if he takes careful note of other trees he will see that poor tree-work is rife and almost always carried out by contractors who have no knowledge of individual

trees requirements. Severe ‘topping’ ( as the cowboys term extreme pruning techniques) is possibly the worst thing that can be done to trees. Unfortunately this practice has been adopted by the local authority as an ongoing management programme.

Mr Hill only needs to look at some of the towns roadside trees to see this for himself. On Far Lane is an avenue of what were particularly fine examples of London Plane that have received this treatment. And from the Stag roundabout to Worrygoose roundabout a number of Populus serotina ‘Aurea’ (an unusual tree in Rotherham) have been pollarded. The long term prospects of these trees aesthetic merits are now severely limited and the treatment will only create serious future problems

that did not exist prior to the work being executed. Unfortunately, while the general public see this type of work being accepted and approved by the local authority they consider it to be correct practice.

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Mr Hill should, I hope, keep up his observations and make his concerns known then, perhaps, more people might take note and hopefully the long term advantages of trees in the town will be a benefit for years to come.


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