We need to pro­tect more trees in Oban

The Oban Times - - Letters -

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.

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