Jarrow pensioner Kathleen is tree-umphant after clearing the way for victory

Maple Street resident Kathleen Cann celebrates her tree row victory.
Maple Street resident Kathleen Cann celebrates her tree row victory.

A battling South Tyneside pensioner has finally seen the light - after a towering tree of woe which has plagued her home for nearly twenty years was chopped down for good.

Determined Kathleen Cann had been at logger-heads with council chiefs over the troublesome tree since moving into her property in Maple Street, Jarrow, in 1997.

The huge tree was reduced to a mere stump during the summer.

The huge tree was reduced to a mere stump during the summer.

The mature Rowan’s over-arching branches were so out of control they touched her windows - blocking out precious sunlight - while its sheer size sparked safety concerns as the pavement it inhabited and her door step began to crack under the pressure.

The 69-year-old had called for the unwelcome guest to be removed for years, but she was left stumped when a neighbour objected.

When fears grew that the pavement cracks could pose a safety risk, the tree was reduced to a mere stump in June ahead of its full removal.

Now the once super-sized shrub has been cleared once for all - much to the delight and gratitude of Mrs Cann.

Iti s marvellous that I can now open up the windows.

Kathleen Cann

She has heaped praise on councillor Alan Kerr for his steadfast support during her battle to cut the danger object down to size.

Mrs Cann said: “The council has been out to remove the stump.

“It is marvellous that I can now open up the windows.

“It has been lovely.

Kathleen in the shadows before the tree was cut down.

Kathleen in the shadows before the tree was cut down.

“I would like to thank councillor Kerr for all his help over the years.”

Mrs Cann’s campaign thrust her into the national spotlight - but her only goal is to be free from a life of tree tryanny.

Her tale was featured in national newspapers and she even snubbed the chance to appear on The Jeremy Kyle Show to discuss the contentious issue.

Mrs Cann added; “I was approached by the Jeremy Kyle Show but I would never want to appear on it.

“I wouldn’t have gone on there if they offered me a million pounds.

“I just wanted the problem sorted out.”

South Tyneside said at the time that removal process began in the summer that the tree was being removed as a last resort due to safety concerns.

A council spokesman said at the time: “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.