Ludlow Town Council calls for Castle Street tree to be felled and replaced – I agree

The council’s Representational Committee discussed the application by Shropshire Council to fell a tree in Castle Street car park last night. Agreeing with revised advice from its tree warden, the town council said that the tree could not be rescued as the base of the trunk had begun to rot after water penetrated through the split fork, which is close to the ground. Strapping the tree or selectively cutting its limbs would not therefore work. The council accepts the tree must be felled. But the tree warden and the council want the roots grubbed out and a semi-mature native species tree planted to replace the Norway Maple.

Having received independent advice, I completely agree with this approach. This is a change from my previous position of wanting the tree managed and saved. The biggest challenge will be ensuring the replacement tree is well maintained throughout its life.

The splitting and rotten base of the tree

I received informal advice from an experienced arboricultural professional after publishing my previous article objecting to the proposed felling of this tree. This opinion made it clear that the tree must go:

I’m afraid that in my opinion… the tree should be removed on safety grounds. The trunk bifurcation at the base is a major weak point… The only maintenance [a replacement tree] requires would be during the formative years when it might need watering and the tree stake and ties inspecting and replacing as necessary. We could set up a community tree maintenance scheme (perhaps as part of Ludlow in Bloom) to do this. Unfortunately, the tree should be removed and if necessary, the roots ground out with a specialised machine before re-planting.

This agrees with the advice to the town council from Peter Norman, the council’s tree warden.

Following this advice, I am withdrawing my objection but like the town council, I will press for a replacement tree be planted. I don’t see how Shropshire Council can get out of doing that after it declared a climate emergency.

Public comments on the proposed felling must be made by 30 August (19/03566/TCA).