|New Council Pledge On Felling Trees In Chiswick|
Hounslow Highways promises to replace trees and inform residents
The new contractor tasked with managing trees across the Borough has promised to replace trees which are felled.
A total of 78 trees have been recommended for removal across the three Chiswick wards, according to the Tree Replacement programme 2013 which was presented to the Chiswick Area Forum last week.
Last year there was uproar in Chiswick when residents complained of contractors cutting down well-loved trees in a number of streets without prior notice given to residents.
One group of residents in Oxford Gardens sent a petition to the Council demanding that all felled trees be replaced following the removal of an apparently healthy cherry tree. The issue came up for discussion several times at the Chiswick Area forum where locals were told that the cash-strapped Council was focusing on planting trees in Feltham and Isleworth.
However a council spokesman told ChiswickW4.com that Hounslow Highways, the new contractor which started in January, planned to keep residents informed by leafletting and dropping fliers before any work took place.
Of the 12,000 trees in the borough which the Council is responsible for, 216 have been found to be damaged, diseased or dying and are for removal- a total of 2 of the tree stock.
"All trees will be replaced either in the same place or at another suitable location in the immediate vicinity", the Council said.
The new Hounslow Highways service, which started on 1 January 2013, is responsible for managing the trees across the borough as part of the street scene.
"Hounslow Highways will be replacing the trees with one of a similar species where possible, ideally in the same place but where this is not feasible, close by. As tree planting is best done between October and April, Hounslow Highways aims to have replaced the majority of trees it has removed by Christmas this year at the latest.
"It is necessary each year to replace a number of trees that are classed as damaged, diseased or dying. This must be done at the appropriate time in the season, which will end in April, and so over the next few months, residents can expect to see Hounslow Highways staff out and about across the borough, dealing with those trees.
Greg Carstensen , Hounslow Highways Service Director, said: “It is always regrettable when we have to remove trees as we do know how much trees enhance the local environment. However we need to do this to protect people and property and to ensure the sustainable future of the borough’s on-street tree stock. This is why we will replace each tree we remove – ideally in the same spot but where this is not possible, very near. Our tree management programme will ensure a healthy and thriving tree stock for future generations of Hounslow.”
He continues: “I would like to reassure residents that we have explored all possible options to keep the trees we need to remove and this is a last resort, but trees in urban landscapes do have a ‘safe-life’ expectancy and we need to manage this.”
Residents wanting to find out more can speak to their councillors at the Local Area Forums. Additionally, Hounslow Highways will be carrying out letter drops in the streets where trees are due for removal and replacement. Resident can also visit www.hounslowhighways.org to find out more about the service.