Pensioner vows she will ‘go to jail’ rather than put up with problem tree

Kathleen Cann complaining about state of pavement outside her home casue by a tree.
Kathleen Cann complaining about state of pavement outside her home casue by a tree.

A pensioner says she will risk going to jail if it means a nuisance tree will be removed from outside her home.

Kathleen Cann has been at loggerheads with council chiefs for almost two decades over the mature tree next to her property in Maple Street, Jarrow.

I will rather face going to jail

Kathleen Cann

Last year the branches were so out of control they were touching her windows and now the 68–year–old says the tree’s roots are making the pavements and her step uneven.

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

But now the local authority has said it’s likely that the troublesome tree will be removed for good ‘within the next three weeks’.

Mrs Cann said: “The tree is outside my door and making the payments outside my home a mess.

“They were going to shift it and held a consultation, but because one person, who doesn’t have the tree outside their home objected now nothing is happening with it.

“Whatever happened to going with the majority of people and not the minority?

“I will rather face going to jail and cut the tree down, than have to go on any longer like this - it’s ridiculous.”

Mrs Cann has lived on the street since 1997 but says she is now at the end of her tether.

She said: “I have lived here for 18 years and I have had problems with the tree all that time. It has grown so much that it is taking up the step outside my home.”

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council confirmed that enquires are ongoing with a resident who had objections about the tree’s removal.

He said: “Following enquiries from local residents as to the condition of trees in this area, the council carried out an inspection of the condition of the trees over a number of streets. The inspection highlighted that one tree in particular was causing some immediate concerns to officers as to its overall condition, suitability and maintenance requirements.

“We carried out a survey to find out if the majority of residents living nearby wanted the tree removed. While most were in favour, we did receive one objection. We are in the process of discussing the matter with this resident and, in the interim, have pruned the tree again.

“It is expected that the tree will be removed within the next three weeks.

“We are also considering using specially engineered ‘tree pits or tree tubs’ in the future for replacement trees within pedestrian areas. This will hopefully improve the life of the tree and reduce its overall maintenance. This area is being considered for these works and further communications will take place later this year.”