School tree in 'extremely dangerous condition'

A LARGE copper beech tree at the junction of Grange Road, Southover Road and Southover High Street, in the grounds of Western Road Primary School, is to be felled.

Following an inspection by an arboriculturalist, the county and district councils were advised that the tree was in a hazardous condition.

Daniel Wynn, district tree and landscape officer, said: 'The copper beech is in an extremely dangerous condition with a clear risk that it may fall without warning.

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'This is due to extensive decay in critical parts of the base, due to the presence of two decay-forming fungi.

'There is no viable alternative option other than complete removal as soon as possible in the interests of public health and safety.'

The county council will have the tree cut down on Tuesday (22nd) before schools return after the summer break.

The work should be completed over four days.

The tree will be felled in sections with the aid of a hydraulic platform.

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Parking restrictions and traffic controls will be in place and delays are anticipated.

A new tree will be planted elsewhere in the school grounds where there is sufficient room for it to grow and develop.

County children's services assistant director Hazel Cunningham said: 'It is very sad that such a beautiful local landmark has to come down, but protecting public safety must come first.

'Not to take action would put local residents at risk and also risk damage to nearby buildings.'