Felling of trees at Elwell Road/North Road Saltash

Created 10 Nov, 2017

Please note that work to fell the trees between Elwell Road and North Road is due to start on Monday 13th November.

Please see details of the reasons for the felling below.

Where are the trees; what sort of trees are they; how old are they?

The trees are  CC Highways  owned ‘Street Trees’. They are situated upon the embankment between Elwell Road and North Road Saltash in a prominent position and close to the recently installed Celtic Cross in Saltash. The trees are early mature, Poplar trees.  The trees are a line of 7 which for management purposes have to be considered as a group and managed accordingly -  the canopies of the trees have matured together.

Who is recommending that the trees be felled?

CORMAC Arboricultural officers (who undertake safety inspections of trees) identified that the trees posed an unacceptable risk of harm to the travelling public, provided a detailed report and recommended remedial action. Following review of this report, CC Highways and Forestry Officers made an informed decision to fell and replant.  

Why has the recommendation been made to fell the trees?

The recommendation to fell the trees follows a number of incidents of branches failing unexpectedly. These branches have caused damage to property.  Our assessment is that branch failures are now likely to continue.  

How long has there been an issue with these trees and what are the issues?

These trees have for many years been offering considerable landscape and other benefits to the community of Saltash and continue to do so.  The trees have been inspected over a number of years as part of our wider practice.  These inspections have shown no defects in the trees that might indicate failure of branches. 

The trees have had management works undertaken on them in the past ( i.e. removal of lower branches) in response to complaints of nuisance.  Branches have subsequently failed despite those failures not being foreseeable when both ground and aerial inspections (where an arboriculture operative inspects the tree and specific elements of the tree from the tree itself –i.e. by climbing). 

We have concluded that the canopy has now altered in a way in which future branch failures are more likely and therefore earlier action to fell and replace these trees is appropriate to secure the long term benefits that trees offer in this location.   

Who has been consulted when making the recommendation to fell the trees?

We have made our recommendation on the basis of expert advice and we have not consulted upon that.   We have however shared that recommendation with Saltash Town Council and Cornwall Council, who understand the works required are  necessary and unavoidable for safety reasons and were pleased to learn that the felled trees are to be replaced

When will the trees be felled if the recommendation is approved? How long will it take and will there be local disruption during the felling process?

The trees will be felled during week commencing 13th November 2017. Some traffic management (lane closure) will be required to (include lane closure and  temporary traffic lights); all efforts to minimise delays to local traffic are being made. Replanting will be undertaken this winter.  

What will replace them and how long will the replacements take to grow?

We will be replanting with a group of 15 trees within the verge at this location. This group will comprised of broadleaf and coniferous species that will tolerate the exposed location and attain large proportions at maturity; the group will include locally sourced Davies Elm, an Elm often found within the Cornish Landscape. Our ambition is to secure a prominent landscape feature  that will make as positive a contribution to the local area as the existing Poplars do. 

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