Anger over tree felled in South Shields street

A South Shields man is angry after a tree was cut down in his street following council maintenance work.

Graham Shewan, from Central Avenue, said that contractors working on behalf of South Tyneside Council, felled a tree on his street this week without consultation with residents.

Central Avenue trees being cut down. Resident Graham Shewan

Central Avenue trees being cut down. Resident Graham Shewan

Mr Shewan, who has lived on the street for a number of years, was upset by the move and said that the trees are an attractive feature in the area and added value to resident’s properties.

He has complained to the council about their actions and says he was told by contractors that more trees in the street are to be chopped down as some are leaning over the road.

But South Tyneside Council said a recent assessment fpound problems with ‘a small number of trees in Central Avenue’ and they only remove trees as a ‘last resort after very careful consideration’.

Mr Shewan said: “I think it is legal vandalism.

Central Avenue trees being cut down. Resident Graham Shewan

Central Avenue trees being cut down. Resident Graham Shewan

“One tree has been cut down so far this week and I have been told that another three are due to be cut down.

“These are beautiful trees that have been here for more than 50 years.

“I don’t understand why this is happening.

“There has been no consultation. It is terrible.”

Central Avenue trees being cut down.

Central Avenue trees being cut down.

But South Tyneside Council has explained their actions and said that trees are only cut down as a last resort.

A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the importance trees play in the make-up of our local communities and carry out regular inspections as part of our routine maintenance of the borough’s tree stock.

“A recent assessment by our qualified and experienced arboriculturists found a number of issues with a small number of trees in Central Avenue, some of which are in very poor condition or diseased while others are structurally unsafe or risk causing damage in the vicinity.

“It is regrettable that these trees have to be removed. 
“However, this is necessary for the health and safety of the public and to ensure we maintain a healthy tree stock.

Central Avenue trees being cut down.

Central Avenue trees being cut down.

“We would like to reassure residents that we would only ever remove trees as a last resort after very careful consideration.

“In line with our Tree and Woodland Policy, like for like planting is carried out. 
“New trees will be planted in the Central Avenue area in the winter.”