Thursday, 28 October 2010

The Tactless Chainsaw Massacre?

As the felling of Worcester Park's poplar trees continues along Malden Green, so the debate rages over whether Kingston Council is guilty of overkill (literally) in cutting down too many of them.

Hot on the heels of Coffee Man's earlier pictures of the felled pieces of badly rotted trunks, Jeff has sent me pictures of what look to the untrained eye (of which I have two) to be perfectly healthy, solid trunks:

Jeff writes: "The majority of stumps show solid healthy heartwood right through to the centre with no disease. I took photos of TEN healthy tree stumps - one of them even has fungii at the base, which according to the Council's tree expert indicated the tree should be hollow, but it's solid wood to the core (see the photo). This is why some of us wanted a second opinion from an independent qualified tree surgeon.

The decision to cut down trees should have be taken on a tree by tree basis with rotten trees removed and healthy ones protected. I mean, you don't axe all the trees in a park just because a number are diseased.

The Council's tree expert clearly adopted the attitude "While we're cutting some down we might as well (near enough) get rid of the lot". This is why they didn't want to discuss the matter and when they did agree a meeting didn't have the courtesy to turn up."

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Kingston Council's actions, it's hard to see this as anything other than a PR disaster for them, with a lack of consultation, lack of explanation to the residents and still no clear answer to whether anything will be replanted in their place. 

It looks like they underestimated just how attached Worcester Park was to its greenery.