Your tree stories

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Alder, Aldam Way, S17.

“Alder on Aldam Way“This alder tree sits on the curve of a quiet road of social housing on the edge of Sheffield. Behind the street is an ancient wood and a brook with many alders, which love damp ground. This ‘twin stemmed’ alder may be their cousin and predate the post war prefabs that were there before the present houses were built in the 1970s. Or perhaps it was planted by an enlightened local authority to bring beauty to the tenants’ lives. Today’s local authority want to fell it although many residents love this alder and display window posters in support of it.

The Council categorised the tree as ‘dangerous’ and it was listed for felling, citing decay and a weak union between the two trunks. A site visit by Amey almost convinced us that there was a problem with the tree, though we asked if it could be kept and monitored, such was its beauty and the local affection for it.

After a six week wait they told us that an independent inspection, commissioned by the Council, confirmed their diagnosis of decay and weakness. Through a Freedom of Information request for the whole inspection report, I learned that not only did the the inspector find no active decay from a healed injury, but also recommended pruning only, not felling. The only work he advised was: ‘Crown reduction leading to a balanced canopy and pleasing silhouette.’

The independent inspector also said: ‘There is some minor damage to the footpath with damage being recorded up to 11m from the stem.’ The Council now give for reason for felling as ‘damaging’, although this was never mentioned before (and never even given to the independent inspector as a concern). The footpath issue is easily repaired and at no extra cost to the city. We have never been officially told that the Council no longer consider the tree to be ‘dangerous’.” – Sally Goldsmith

Cherry, Wath Road, S7.

“Cherry on Wath Road“They’re coming for this tomorrow (30/09/17) – it’s not in a particularly fancy part of Nether Edge, but it’s one of only two left on this not very green bit of S7, and we love it. 88% of residents voted to save it but it’s down to be felled – mainly because the Tarmac machine would never get under it probably.

Tonight I’ve said my goodbyes after 17 years of looking out into it, and listening to the owl who occasionally rests there at night and the to the bees who buzz around the blossom in spring. We tried.” – Helen Shipley

Common ash, Glentilt Road, S7.

“Ash on Glentilt Road“I live on Glentilt Road, where there is a beautiful mature ash tree outside no. 20. The tree is important to me because in June 2015 I had a premature baby, he was 10 weeks early and after 7 weeks in hospital I took him home but he was still quite poorly and I spent a lot of time at home with him, sat in my living room, nursing and holding him to keep him settled. I would find it very comforting to look out of the window and watch the birds and squirrels coming and going, I missed spending time outside but with a premature baby you need to keep them inside as much as possible.

Watching the nature from my window allowed me to stay connected with the outdoors that I love. My baby is now 2 years old and his older brother is nearly 4, they share my love for nature and have been upset to see the trees cut down on our road, this is why I am campaigning to save our tree and others like it across the city.” – Rachel Booth.

Read the Independent Tree Panel report for this tree.

Lime, Thornsett Road, S7.

“Lime Tree, Thornsett Road“I wanted to share this pic of the bottom of Thornsett rd with you; I took it on a crisp November morning in 2015 when my partner and I had just moved to the area and we were walking to work about 8am.

The pic really sums up what the trees in this area mean to me and I guess, to so many other people – they’re so enchanting in every season, so special to us, and I have never stopped feeling totally incensed about what is essentially environmental vandalism. I feel like if we can remember and record their beauty – well, that’s something they can never take away from us, can they.” – Kate Elizabeth Mitchell

Lime, Aldfield Way, S5.

“Lime Tree, Aldfield Way
“NOT JUST ANOTHER STREET TREE. Laid on my bed recuperating this morning. The bright sunshine just above the rooftops opposite shining in my face. The leafless branches of my Lime tree gently swaying, dappling the sunlight on my face. Very soon, new buds will appear, sprouting leaves and turning the sunshine into a therapeutic flicker dancing on my face. In no time at all, the 4.30am dawn chorus outside my window will be almost worth setting my alarm for if I needed to. The gentle rain of yellow pollen and ‘gifts’ from courting pigeons soon to be followed by thin twirling leaves spiralling down. A motley collection of interesting bugs will not go unnoticed whilst a new brood of baby pigeons will grow and fledge unseen. Next, a couple of weeks of sticky sap attracting appreciative wasps and a trip to the car wash. The advent of a windy autumn bringing a collection of dead twigs for bonfire night and a carpet of crunchy fruits welcoming visitors to my door. The arrival of winter heralded by a two day rain of leaves stripping the tree of its greenery. And so I wait for another season to begin. Believe it or not, looking at a tree for five minutes is now available on prescription. Wish all doctors were aware of this. Oh, well, time for breakfast!” – Shane Harper

Norway maple, Hollythorpe Rise, S8.

“Felled Norway maple“This was a mature Norway maple, about 80 years old, which could have given us its benefits for another 200 years. Its replacement will be an Erman’s birch, which will eventually grow to less than half the height and width of the maple.” – Celia Pinnington.

Celia added the notice, which reads “Less than 1% of Sheffield residents voted for this tree felling”, a figure taken from the Council’s own data.

The Felling – An Epic Tale of People Power

Innocent protest to save Sheffield’s healthy street trees turns into a nightmare, as a small group of brave suburbanites take on their Council, the police and a multinational corporation.

Crowdfunder: street trees legal fund

We are currently collecting to support the small number of campaigners who are facing court costs after cases brought by Sheffield City Council.

Heartwood TiCL trail

Walk the Heartwood Trail and find Robert Macfarlane’s beautiful charms against harm hung from some of Sheffield’s threatened Street Trees. Designed by Jackie Morris.

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