Barnet Post

Shock as 'cherished' trees felled in Finchley

Residents complain over lack of warning as street trees felled by council

Hero for Shock as 'cherished' trees felled in Finchley
A tree being removed in Strathmore Gardens
By Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter  

“Cherished” trees that were chopped down in a suburban street were suffering from wood decay, according to Barnet Council.

The council said it will plant new trees to replace those that were removed from Strathmore Gardens, Finchley, for public safety reasons.

Some neighbours had raised concerns over the tree felling, which took place earlier this month, and what they claimed was a lack of notice given by the council.

Rob White, who lives in Strathmore Gardens, was initially shocked by the removals of what appeared to be healthy trees.

“These trees are cherished by the people who the council is meant to serve,” he said.

“I just think they should handle it better. The notes had barely been up a week before the first tree was destroyed.

“A chunk of that time was a bank holiday, so we couldn’t ring them to object directly by phone.

“They failed to give adequate notice – one bit of A4 tied on with hazard tape isn’t good enough. There was no other warning.

“The notice of removal gave the main Barnet call-in number – which often takes forever to respond, if it does at all.”

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, the two trees in question were found to be suffering from wood decay to an extent that they had to be removed for public safety. We will be planting new trees in their place this winter. We provided notice of tree removal in advance by attaching notices to both trees.

“We have an ambitious tree-planting programme which is detailed in our award-winning tree policy. The initiative includes planting 900 new trees annually in the borough, including replacing our dying ornamental trees such as the two plums in Strathmore Gardens.

“This will improve air quality, reduce the risk of flooding and boost our reputation as one of London’s leafiest boroughs.”

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