Century old trees felled in Welwyn Garden City

THEY took around one hundred years to reach maturity – and just two hours to fell.

Parkway in WGC now has five less horse chestnuts, after council contractors removed the diseased trees last week.

Resident Jenny Fisher said the trees were taken down “professionally” and “sympathetically” by the workmen.

But she added their removal had changed the vista of Parkway completely and exposed residents to greater levels of noise.

She said: “Two of these trees were felled outside our house and although the council had been in close contact with us, keeping us well informed regarding the analysis of the trees and the procedure for felling them, what they could not tell us was how the view would look and the level of traffic noise, which had been filtered by the trees, would now affect us.”

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The trees were cut down after they were diagnosed with a bacterial infection called Pseudomonas syringae.

Jenny added: “The vista is now very different and there is more light coming in to the house, but we can only hope that the rest of the trees on Parkway can fight off this infection, or we may all be having a very different view along Parkway.”

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Meanwhile, fellow resident Jim Morgan, 82, said he didn’t object to the trees being felled, provided they were “replanted immediately”.

He said: “Knowing our local authority, they are very happy to chop them down but they are less happy to replant them!”

A council spokesman said: “The council’s aim is to continue having an avenue of trees in Parkway that are all the same age and therefore can mature together to create the landscape impact that everyone can enjoy.

“If further trees in Parkway are felled in the future as the disease spreads, then the council will discuss a plan to replant the area and will seek the opinion of residents to find the best way to restore the landscape.”

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