Battling pensioner wins 19-year fight against troublesome tree

Kathleen Cann is celebrating after  an overgrown tree which towered over her house was finally removed
Kathleen Cann is celebrating after an overgrown tree which towered over her house was finally removed

A delighted pensioner has found the ‘root’ to success - after a nuisance tree which has plagued her home for nearly two decades was finally cut down to size.

Kathleen Cann has been at loggerheads with council chiefs over the problematic tree since she moved into her property in Maple Street, Jarrow, in 1997.

Kathleen Cann battled to have the mature tree removed for nearly two decades.

Kathleen Cann battled to have the mature tree removed for nearly two decades.

The rowan tree’s branches were so out of control that they touched her windows - blocking out sunlight - while it’s massive size had caused the pavement and her door step to crack.

The 69-year-old has called for council chiefs to take action over the troublesome tree for years.

Mrs Cann said that council bosses were going to remove the tree earlier this year - but due to an objection by a neighbour earlier it stayed put.

But she alerted the council again due to her growing safety fears over the widening cracks in the pavement outside her home.

I feel like I have my house back again

Kathleen Cann

Now the rowan is going and soon to be gone after being reduced to a mere stump - giving Mrs Cann vital piece of mind and a rare chance to bask in the sunshine.

South Tyneside Council say that trees are only removed as a ‘last resort’ but the condition of the tree caused them to take action.

Mrs Cann said: “I feel like I have got my house back again.

“I have had problems for the tree for many years.

“The cracks in the pavement were getting dangerous, it was a safety concern. It had to go.

“The branches of the tree went up to my window, it is lovely to see the sun coming in again.

“I phoned the council up again last week and they told them my front door step was cracking.

“I didn’t think they would come out and take down the tree.

“Last Saturday we had a lovely day of weather.

“Up until then, I didn’t think the sun existed.”

Mrs Cann doesn’t see the tree cut as a victory for herself - but rather for common sense.

She added; “I think it is a happy ending.

“It’s not a win for me or a loss for anyone else.

“It is about everyone coming to their senses.”

A South Tyneside Council Spokesperson said: “We only remove trees as a last resort, usually in cases where trees are in a state of decline or they pose a safety risk. In this case we are pleased to have found a resolution which the majority of residents are happy with. This tree was causing some immediate concerns as to its overall condition, suitability and maintenance requirements.

“Trees play an important role in enhancing the beauty of the landscape while also offering a multitude of social, economic, health and environmental benefits. A replacement tree will be planted in the local area, to ensure a healthy stock of trees in the borough.

“The Council manages around one million trees and maintains more than 5,500 individual specimens across the Borough every year. They are inspected regularly under the Council’s Tree and Woodland Policy and maintained on average every five to seven years in line with national standards.”