Bacteria-plagued trees to be felled in Welwyn Garden City

A diseased branch of a horse-chestnut tree on Parkway

A diseased branch of a horse-chestnut tree on Parkway - Credit: Archant

BACTERIA-PLAGUED trees are set to be removed in the heart of Welwyn Garden City.

Welwyn & Hatfield Tree Officer Ollie Waring shows Councillor Helen Bromley where the disease is affe

Welwyn & Hatfield Tree Officer Ollie Waring shows Councillor Helen Bromley where the disease is affecting horse-chestnut trees on Parkway - Credit: Archant

Routine checks revealed that more than 20 horse chestnuts are showing signs of Pseudomonas syringae, which leads to cracks in the branches and trunks.

Welwyn & Hatfield Tree Officer Ollie Waring shows Councillor Helen Bromley where the disease is affe

Welwyn & Hatfield Tree Officer Ollie Waring shows Councillor Helen Bromley where the disease is affecting horse-chestnut trees on Parkway - Credit: Archant

So it has been decided that in September eight infected trees, in Parkway between the Birdcroft Road and Rooks Hill junctions, will be felled and young trees planted in their place.

Councillor Mandy Perkins, who is executive member for planning and business, said: “We are very sad to see these trees go.

“They help to create a lovely tree lined avenue along Parkway.”

The horse chestnuts will be replaced by a variety of sweet gum and there will be an extensive programme to replant in the winter.

The new trees will be about two-to-three metres in height when they first arrive and will reach a similar size to the horse chestnuts when mature.

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Cllr Perkins added: “Unfortunately this infection affects over half the horse chestnut trees in the country and there is currently no known cure.

“However we have now got a programme of replanting and eventually will have to fell and replant this whole section of Parkway over the next two to three years.”

Residents along Parkway have been notified of the changes.