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Rumpus over popular poplars

PUBLISHED: 15:39 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 05 July 2010

PEOPLE in Southwold and Reydon are furious that a row of poplar trees regarded as a local landmark are being felled.

Waveney District Council has ordered the removal of the trees at Lowestoft Road and Reydon Corner because experts say they have become a danger to the public.

PEOPLE in Southwold and Reydon are furious that a row of poplar trees regarded as a local landmark are being felled.

Waveney District Council has ordered the removal of the trees at Lowestoft Road and Reydon Corner because experts say they have become a danger to the public. However, many residents believe the trees could be saved if they were treated and accuse the council of taking the cheapest option in ordering their removal.

One, Geoffrey Munn, said: “Pinned to a tree, next in line to fall under a chainsaw, is a sign saying the condition of the poplars is 'highly suspect'. In my view it is not the condition of our trees that is highly suspect but the evidence cited by the council in condemning them.

“The council says that further maintenance is impractical, but we all know that further maintenance will cost Waveney money, not just now but for the foreseeable future - no trees, no expense.”

Mr Munn is being supported by many other residents who have complained to the council and by Reydon Parish Council. An angry resident said: “The lovely mature poplar trees on Reydon Corner, which is really the gateway into Reydon and Southwold, look absolutely gorgeous, particularly at Christmas time when covered in lights. The council is just going to cut the lot down and grind all the stumps out because one tree had something wrong with it.”

Waveney maintains that removing the trees is the only available option. A spokesman said: “If left, the tops of these trees will inevitably become dangerous in the near future. Action has to be taken now to ensure public safety.

The spokesman said re-pollarding the trees was not the best solution because they would be unsightly for the first three years and the whole process would have to be repeated for safety reasons when the crowns grew again.

So the decision had been taken to fell and replace the poplars with a range of more suitable species.

Felling and replacement will be done in two phases. Half of the trees - those assessed to be in most suspect condition - will be felled now.

The stumps will be removed and replacement species planted in December.

At the same time, the crowns of the remaining trees will be thinned and dead wood removed.

The condition of the remaining trees will be monitored until the second and final phase of felling and replacement is completed in autumn next year.


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