Businesses protest over Catalpa losses

Tree officers have come in for flack after a local authority decided to chop down four prominent trees in Cirencester town centre.

The Catalpa trees will be felled for safety and management reasons, said Cotswold District Council.
Local shop owners condemned the council for penny pinching because of the high cost of regular pruning.
A council spokesman said the trees were a safety risk and had large numbers of potentially unstable branches as well as being costly to maintain.
Some had already fallen into the busy shopping and open café area beneath, said Cotswold District Council tree officer Matt Reid.
“Unfortunately these trees are far from ideal species for the place they are growing, and we have had to make the tough decision to remove them.
“It’s always sad to see trees go, but we also have to be realistic in terms of our management approach. Catalpas are typically weak in terms of their wood quality.
“It’s a complicated and expensive process carrying out works to the Catalpas because the whole area has to be cordoned off.”
The Catalpas, planted in the early 1960s, will be left as stumps while future options for the site are considered, which could include replacement trees. The wood will be turned into chippings that will be recycled into electricity.

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