Anger as 40ft tree is reduced to just a stump
Claim ‘resident asked for it to be cut down as it was blocking light’
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 email@example.com.”