Anger as 40ft tree is re­duced to just a stump

Claim ‘res­i­dent asked for it to be cut down as it was block­ing light’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By

THE felling of a 40ft tree has caused up­set in Hilling­don, as the bor­ough pro­motes Lon­don Tree Week.

Peter Mar­shall, a Dick­ens Av­enue res­i­dent, spot­ted a team of tree sur­geons pulling up early in his street on the morn­ing of Satur­day May 21.

They cut down a large tree on a pub­lic grass verge be­tween the pave­ment and the road, leav­ing a three-foot stump where the coun­cil-owned tree stood.

Mr Mar­shall said: “A neigh­bour rang the coun­cil and, to their credit, the parks and recre­ations duty man­ager ar­rived in 10 min­utes.

“He asked them what they were do­ing re­mov­ing a pub­lic tree and they said that a res­i­dent had paid them to re­move it as it was block­ing the light and view to their house.

“The coun­cil duty man­ager took pic­tures and re­alised that the two ve­hi­cles had black tape over the regis­tra­tion plates.

“The tree cut­ters then fled and left de­bris strewn all over the road for the coun­cil to clear up.”

Mr Mar­shall thinks the in­ci­dent is ‘van­dal­ism’ and shouldn’t go un­pun­ished, es­pe­cially as the coun­cil have pub­li­cised Hilling­don’s ‘Mag­nif­i­cent Trees’ in a dou­ble-page spread in their free mag­a­zine for residents, Hilling­don Peo­ple.

He said: “This begs the ques­tion, how se­ri­ously do they take the knowl­edge of one of these trees be­ing un­law­fully cut down?”

In Fe­bru­ary, residents were up­set over ‘reck­less’ tree de­struc­tion along Hayes canal, which left the area look­ing like a ‘war­zone’.

Hilling­don Coun­cil con­firmed it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter as, al­though the tree wasn’t pro­tected, it is still illegal to cut down a coun­cil-owned tree.

A spokesper­son for the coun­cil said: “The coun­cil cleared what re­mained of the tree and will plant a new tree in its place dur­ing plant­ing sea­son in Novem­ber.

“If any­one has any in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the loss of this tree we would be grate­ful if they could con­tact us on trees@hilling­don.gov.uk.”

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