Town centre trees axed
Three removed on safety grounds
Council officials have defended their move to chop down a clutch of town centre trees and vowed to replace them next year.
The trees, outside The Stove and Dorothy Perkins on Dumfries High Street, were axed last weekend.
A combined team of workers from both the Forestry Commission plus the council took them down to the annoyance of nearby residents.
But a council spokeswoman stressed that the trees had become dangerous when recent high winds caused several to uproot and break pavement slabs and cobbles.
She said: “The trees in the town centre are appreciated by everyone. They add to the environment and surroundings.
“And the council do not remove trees without good reason, we like them just like everyone else does.
“The tree outside Dorothy Perkins was damaged in the recent high winds causing it to uproot. This has resulted in the surrounding cobbles and pavement slabs becoming uneven and dangerous, creating a safety issue for the public.”
She added: “The two further trees outside the Stove were removed because they were dead causing the ground and foundations to weaken.
“If there was any more bad weather, this could pose a significant risk to the public so they had to be removed.
“The council had planning permission to remove them and had been working with the Forestry Commission on ensuring this was done in a safe and controlled manner.
“The trees that have been removed will be replaced early next year.”
Angry resident John Dowson, from Bank Street, said: “It certainly was a rude awakening on Sunday morning to hear screaming chainsaws chopping down trees.
“They started at about 9am and there was no warning which is just typical of this council – no communication with the public.
“Now we’ve lost these four trees and I just hope that the are going to replace them.
“I believe the council could have fixed the pavements and saved those trees, but again there was no information.
“I just think they have shown no respect to the residents. And I have spoken to a few who are really upset about all of this.
“It’s the same about the situation at the Catherine Street play park where the council want to chop down 10 out of 35 trees to make it all inclusive.
“The idea is good to include disabled people, but the way the council are going about it is just shameful.”
Stumped Dumfries town centre residents Margaret Dowson, John and Clare Charkow and John Dowson
Removed One of the trees