Sheena Jackson with trees requiring maintenance in Otterwood Lane
The Council have now published a report which could lead to improvements in tree management work in the City.
It suggests updates to the ineffective polices decided 18 months ago which have seen the number of dangerous and overgrown trees in the City multiply
The Council has a map available which it claims shows all public trees and their status. (Click). However, this concentrates on those subject to Tree Preservation Orders or which are in Conservation Areas.
The bulk of complaints about lack of proactive maintenance concern other trees and bushes.
Fungal growth threatening trees in Foxwood Hill
The Council says that it only has resources available to address “emergency storm damage, road blockages, attending as necessary to make safe. In addition “very urgent. dangerous high-risk hazards” such as predicted imminent failures including “full collapse, limbs, decay, defects” are addressed within “3 months” of being reported.
The Council currently has 42 outstanding reports of dangerous hazards such as full collapse, limbs, decay and other defects which it hopes to address “within 6 months”.
So bad has the problem become in some areas, that ward committees have agreed to use part of their delegated budgets to address problems.
No list of outstanding work has been provided in the report but in the Westfield ward, for example, major issues are known to exist in;
- Acomb Wood (Council owned section near Osprey Close)
- Wetherby Road
- Little Green Lane
- Otterwood Lane
- Foresters Walk
Nor does the report address the increasing problem of private trees and bushes overgrowing the public highway. In some cases, like Burgess Walk, street lights have been blocked by tree canopies – leaving footpaths dark and with an increased security risk
The report suggests changes to the tree management policy document. It is unlikely that these changes will go far enough to satisfy residents. The work backlog is simply too large.
The use of outside contractors may be necessary if resident’s safety concerns are to be addressed.
The report will be presented to a “decision meeting” taking place on Monday 18th December at 4:30pm. The meeting will be held in the Thornton Room at West Offices.
Residents may make personal representations to the meeting about tree issues but must register to do so before the meeting. The deadline for registering to speak is 5.00pm on Friday, 15 December 2017. Residents may also submit written representations, but these must be with the Council by 5.00 pm on Thursday, 14 December 2017.
In both cases notice must be sent by Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01904 552030
Tree map covers all of York. Interactive