Shropshire Council is seeking permission to fell a Norway Maple in Castle Street car park. The council plans to reduce it to ground level because there is a split between a major branch and the main trunk. Although this split has been there for a good while, I can understand why the council is concerned that it poses a safety risk to users of the car park. But this does not mean the entire tree should be felled.
The tree is suffering from poor management but it is healthy. It needs arboricultural care, not razing to the ground.
Despite Shropshire Council declaring a climate emergency just weeks ago, there are no plans for a replacement tree.
An update is provided at the end of this article. See also my subsequent article.
It looks to me as though there has been no management of this tree since it was planted, certainly since Shropshire Council took responsibility for it a decade ago. It has grown unevenly and one limb on its west side looking vulnerable to falling into the car park. But with some expert work the limb can be severed and the tree reshaped.
People entering the car park should see trees before they negotiate the serried ranks of parked vehicles. Trees tell visitors that Ludlow cares about its green spaces and biodiversity – which we do. They show that Shropshire Council cares about climate change and the role of trees in slowing and limiting increasing temperatures. Trees show that the council recognises that trees mop up pollution from vehicles and keep our air cleaner.
But, alas, Shropshire Council’s intention is to fell the tree without replacement. That is unacceptable and I hope residents and the town council object. The permission for felling will go through automatically if there are no objections. You can object through the planning portal (19/03566/TCA).
Update: 16 August 2019
Peter Norman, Ludlow Town Council’s volunteer tree warden, has copied me into an email explaining why he asked Shropshire Council to look at the tree. This is the argument he plans to make at Representational Committee on Wednesday, 21 August: