Last week, MSDC felled three mature oak trees which stood at the Beech Hill end of the Forest Fields open space in Northlands Wood.
These trees had been there for over 50 years, one in particular, probably over 80 years, and were part of woodland which existed long before any housing development in the area.
These trees were not felled because they were diseased, but because in the view of the council’s tree officer, the area looked better without them.
The trees will be replaced by two saplings of a different variety that will take years to grow to any size.
The council does not notify or consult local residents of their intentions and the tree officer appears unaccountable for the decisions they make.
None of the trees on public land are protected and so all are potentially at risk from arbitrary decisions such as that at Northlands Wood.
Trees are a local amenity which support wildlife and grace our local landscape with their beauty. With so many trees already lost in the area and very few green open spaces left, surely those mature trees which remain should be protected by the council for future generations to enjoy.
Dorothy and Clive Green
The Oaks, Haywards Heath
Mid Sussex District Councillor Gary Marsh, cabinet member for service delivery, responded:
We removed the three mature Oak tree from Northlands Wood because they had become infected by a fungus that had spread throughout the trees.
They were in serious decline and there was a significant amount of deadwood.
The trees were never going to survive and by acting now we can prevent the fungus spreading to other vegetation in the area and avoid the risk of the trees becoming unstable and potentially dangerous.
The spores of this particular fungus reside in the soil so we are replacing the oak trees with an alternative species that has a much greater resistance to the fungus.
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