Anger at Potters Bar tree destruction

PUBLISHED: 11:31 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 08 March 2017

Tree stumps on Mutton Lane where more trees have been felled.

Tree stumps on Mutton Lane where more trees have been felled.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Council contractors are removing hundreds of trees from the streets of Potters Bar just as they are coming into blossom, sparking outrage from residents confronted by bare stumps.

Workers have already chopped down at least 35 trees in roads such as Mimms Hall Drive, Ormsby Drive, Laurel Avenue, Cambridge Drive, and Mutton Lane, with County Hall now revealing it has 277 specimens on its overall hit list.

The county council says have become dangerous to motorists as they are dead, dying or diseased, but the visual impact has already angered critics.

Keith Dixon of Oulton Crescent said: “The scale and timing of the current programme of tree felling in Potters Bar – especially on and around the Auckland Estate and in Mutton Lane - is very distressing.

“Lines of ornamental cherries in several roads have been decimated – all apparently ‘dead, diseased or dying’. Residents have been assured that all trees that have been cut down will be replaced, but any new trees will of course take many years to mature.”

He said the destruction in Potters Bar was far worse than the recent impact of Storm Doris.

Sheldon Kosky, 56, of Neville Close, persuaded the council to get a second expert opinion before they cut four trees in his road down.

He said: “The blossom in spring is something to look forward to, and the buds are already coming through. There are clear signs of new growth. They also provide cover for bird life.”

A county council spokeswoman responded: “A recent inspection of 2,500 highway trees in Potters Bar identified 277 trees which were found to be dead, diseased or dying.

“ We need to remove them in order to comply with our duty, under the Highways Act, to keep roads safe. No healthy tree is being removed as part of these works; decayed and dying trees can still flower and appear to be healthy.

“Trees removed as part of a programme of works will be replaced, where possible. Additional efforts have been made to replant trees which are similar in colouring to those being removed. All roads have been assessed by our tree specialists and we will replant as many trees as possible; however some verges in a road may not be wide enough, or there may be pipes and cables in the way.”

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