Hatfield man’s sign shows he’s no sucker for poplar tree roots

PUBLISHED: 13:09 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:16 14 August 2018

Bill Bowles made this sign after poplar suckers started to spread in Southdown Road. Picture: Bill Bowles

Bill Bowles made this sign after poplar suckers started to spread in Southdown Road. Picture: Bill Bowles

Bill Bowles

A Hatfield man has made a unique protest after an abundant growth of poplar root suckers spread on his street.

Part of the 'Southdown Forest'. Picture: Bill BowlesPart of the 'Southdown Forest'. Picture: Bill Bowles

The poplar trees in Southdown Road, Hatfield, after being heavily pruned, came back with a vengeance this summer by spreading “suckers” - root growths - all over a green area near the home of Bill Bowles and his wife.

“This is getting stupid,” said Bill to the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

Residents have been unable to use the grass as intended and Bill worries that the mini trees could present a hazard to the area’s many elderly residents.

Having notified the council a month ago, he decided to get their attention in a more novel way: by renaming the grassy patch “Southdown Forest” with a handmade sign.

Bill Bowles made this sign after poplar suckers started to spread in Southdown Road. Picture: Bill BowlesBill Bowles made this sign after poplar suckers started to spread in Southdown Road. Picture: Bill Bowles

The sign has caught the amused attention of numerous passers-by.

A spokesperson for the council has said that the problem will be fixed this week, and explained how this unusual growth took off so fast: “This poplar tree has responded to significant pruning by producing suckers off its roots, this is down to the fact that grass cutting was put on hold due to the hot and dry weather, which allowed the new growth to take hold.

“Our contactors will strim the suckers this week, and as grass cutting has started again this should deal with any re-growth before it establishes.”

Bill Bowles made this sign after poplar suckers started to spread in Southdown Road. Picture: Bill BowlesBill Bowles made this sign after poplar suckers started to spread in Southdown Road. Picture: Bill Bowles

Poplar suckers have overtaken this patch of grass in Hatfield. Picture: Bill BowlesPoplar suckers have overtaken this patch of grass in Hatfield. Picture: Bill Bowles

Part of the 'Southdown Forest'. Picture: Bill BowlesPart of the 'Southdown Forest'. Picture: Bill Bowles

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