Tree problem must be resolved

ABOUT four years ago, the tall willow in my neighbour s garden, a few feet from my boundary, was getting into a dangerous condition. Being in a conservation area, he was allowed to reduce the height, but not enough in our opinion to leave the tree in a sa

ABOUT four years ago, the tall willow in my neighbour's garden, a few feet from my boundary, was getting into a dangerous condition. Being in a conservation area, he was allowed to reduce the height, but not enough in our opinion to leave the tree in a safe condition. If it fell, it could cause my house to be so damaged that it would have to be completely re-built. If it happened at night, it could crush us in our beds.

Early last year, we agreed that more drastic work should be carried out, and he asked the tree officer if he could fell the tree. The only response he got was a preservation order being put on the tree without its even being properly examined or the problem discussed. A local tree surgeon agreed with us, and the council's officer implied that he was looking for extra work.

I therefore called in a qualified arboriculturist and received a report that pointed out many defects, including an elder tree that was growing from one of the cavities, which surely indicated that the tree was unsound. He stated that, because of the age and size of the tree, it presented a considerable danger not only to people in these gardens and the public that use the river, but most importantly for the safety of the property. He recommended that it be removed. If that were refused, a 50 per cent height reduction must be allowed to reduce the potential danger.

Having submitted this to the chairman of Huntingdonshire District Council, some work was agreed, but not such as would leave the tree in a safe condition.


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I therefore offered at my expense for another completely independent arboriculturist to conduct a survey, but this was refused. My neighbour has appealed, but without any results.

One has only to walk the paths of Huntingdon and, in particular, near local schools to note that every branch has been removed from almost every tree. I would like the chairman of the council to answer - yes or no - whether, if this tree adjoined a school playground, he would have it felled.

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If it cannot be felled, my neighbour and I only want the tree to be cut back so that, if it fell, it would not damage my property.

I don't think anyone should have to suffer the stress this is causing. I served my country through the German and Japanese wars. This problem has been going on for over a year and is now having an adverse effect on my health.

W B CARTER, Meadow Lane, Hemingford Abbots

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