Reprieve for Belfast's oldest tree

Published Wednesday, 02 January 2013
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Belfast's oldest and tallest street tree has been saved from the chop after an intervention from the Department of Environment.

Reprieve for Belfast's oldest tree
This is the city's oldest and tallest street tree (© UTV)

A number of residents of Glastonbury Avenue in the north of the city refused to let Roads Service cut it down last month following concerns over protruding roots damaging the footpath.

They say they are relieved the 150-year-old beech tree, which is located close to the junction of Glastonbury Avenue and Antrim Road, has now been granted a six-month stay of execution.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood stepped in with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), which was served on 14 December to safeguard the 40ft tree "for its widespread public amenity value".

Mr Attwood described it as a "very fine mature beech tree".

"I became aware of local concern regarding the future of the tree towards the end of November and instructed that the decision was progressed quickly," the SDLP minister said on Sunday.

"The tree is the oldest and tallest street tree in Belfast and, whilst street trees are generally well cared for by Belfast City Council on behalf of DRD Roads Service, I opted for a precautionary approach in this instance," Mr Attwood added.

"The Department now has six months to decide whether or not to confirm the TPO."

© UTV News
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16 Comments
sam in belfast wrote (715 days ago):
The road service need to wise up and think more about preserving trees and repairing footpaths around them rather than cutting them down. The sdlp should be ashamed of themselves for taking the credit in this case, the Green Party and the local residents who were involved in this dispute are to be congratulated and deserve a huge thank you!!!!!!!!
Looovvee in Belfast wrote (715 days ago):
Lets go hug that tree and show it some love.
Helen in Some small town with no internet in Russia wrote (717 days ago):
Some of you people should be ashamed of yourselves, saying that this poor tree should be cut down, its terrible. I suggest some of you watch Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, watch the scene where the trees have had enough of getting cut down and chopped up. That will make ya think twice before hacking a tree again. I was never the same again after i first witnessed that scene.
seamas in belfast wrote (717 days ago):
Can we not cut it down, keep it in a box and then set it up on designated days? I mean if it’s damaging the footpath we don’t want any flag protests.
Jamesbelfast in Belfast wrote (717 days ago):
What many people fail to realise thet mature trees have a root system up to three times a large as the branches. Whilst the branches can be easily trimmed for obvious reasons the root system cannot be managed in the same way. Eventually the roots will spread far enough to cause damage to nearby property and underground services such as electricity, sewage, etc. I am all for having trees in urban areas but they do need to be managed but we have to accept that in many cases eventually the only way to do so is to remove the tree. If it was my home nearby I would be concerned in case it was structurally damaged.
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