We need to protect more trees in Oban
Sir, Keep Oban Beautiful strongly supports the retention, care and planting of trees around the town.
It is, therefore, of great concern to see that trees are being felled on a regular basis and, while we accept that there are many reasons for taking down trees, I would respectfully suggest that very careful thought is given to any felling or pruning programme.
Felling or lopping trees to allow a better view from a window could well spoil the prospect for other residents and visitors who enjoy Oban’s green and wooded appearance, particularly if the trunks and branches are left lying where they fall, often at the roadside. It’s also important to check on whether the tree concerned belongs to you or is the subject of a tree preservation order.
I enjoyed the idea put forward in a letter from a Mr N Mclean of Inverness to ‘Captain MacDougall, Younger of Dunolly, by Oban’, dated November 27, 1823, and quoted in an article by Alison Blackwood. Captain MacDougall was considering building a new house at Dunollie and was asking for suggestions as to where it should be sited. Mr McLean wrote: ‘I think it would be out of taste were it to be practicable to grasp all the finest views from the house.’ He meant, I assume, that there are other places from which to enjoy the view than from your armchair.
If a tree is causing a real problem - be it too large, too close to the house or in poor health - then rather than lopping the branches and leaving ugly stumps, it might be better to cut the tree to the ground and either allow it to re-grow, or to replace it with a smaller or less vigorous species.
Trees filter the wind, soak up water and provide a habitat for wildlife, as do areas of so-called ‘scrub’ which is often thought of as valueless. Trees and shrubs soften the outline of buildings and are restful to the eye. We need more tree cover, not less. Let’s be proud of our green town.
Maurice Wilkins, Keep Oban Beautiful.