Council to fell 300 trees in Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 17:36 04 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:46 07 January 2019

Around 300 Lombardy poplars will be felled by WHBC. Picture: supplied by WHBC

Around 300 Lombardy poplars will be felled by WHBC. Picture: supplied by WHBC

supplied by WHBC

The council's programme to replace mature Lombardy poplar trees in the borough will continue on Monday January 14.

Around 300 trees in the north side car park at Welwyn Garden City’s Stanborough Park will be felled to make way for new trees.

A report issued in February last year found that council tree officers “no longer have confidence that visual or internal testing [of Lombardy poplars] is capable of identifying decay and likelihood of risk.”

According to the report, there have been several incidents of fallen trees, rotten roots and branches snapping since 2009.

As a result, the council decided on a programme of replacement that will now have a “stark” visual impact until the new trees are established.

New trees will go in at the next planting season in autumn, when they will be replaced with a mixture of species more suited to the borough’s environment.

To retain a natural barrier for cars, a section of the trunk will be left until the new trees are planted.

This will also allow for their chemical treatment to prevent potentially hazardous re-growth this year.

The work will be completed in stages to minimise disruption, and the car park will remain open to the public throughout.

Planted during post-war development, the trees are approaching the end of their natural lifespan and unlike other species are especially prone to breakage, according to the council.

Councillor Stephen Boulton, executive member for planning, said: “The visual impact will be quite stark for a few months until we can plant again in autumn, but it’s important we carry out the work during the low season to avoid disrupting activity at the park over the busy spring and summer periods.

“We expected to find more evidence of decay when felling poplars around the borough, which has unfortunately been the case, but are looking forward to seeing our tree landscape renewed for many generations to come.”

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