The Tele reported in January how a large tree fell onto the road in Finnart Street, just missing nearby houses. Now details of a Tree Hazard Management Report, which was carried out at the site following the incident have emerged. The report, which was carried out by Informed Tree Services on behalf of Inverclyde Council, states that someone had wilfully damaged three trees at the site, leaving the dangerous trees ‘extremely hazardous’ to public safety.
The dangerous trees have since been removed and further remedial work is now planned at the wooded area.
In relation to the three dangerous trees, the report stated: “Each of these trees has been vandalised.
“The report won’t attempt to second-guess the motivation of the culprit but their aim was, surely, to cause the death of each tree.”
The report continues: “The culprit has gone to great lengths to kill these trees.
“They have accessed them on a steep slope and used a chainsaw to make a cut around the full circumference of each. This strongly suggests someone with specialist knowledge.”
The report says that the vandalism, caused by a chainsaw, is likely to have occurred about three to four years ago and that the act didn’t kill the trees but initiated decay.
It continues: “Given that the wounded/cut trees occur in an elevated position above a public road, the culprit deliberately put passersby at significant risk of harm, or even death.
“The wounding/cutting of the trees was clearly ‘wilful damage’ and given that the trees are located within a Conservation Area, this was, likely, an offence under the Town and
Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1998.”
At the start of the year, Ken Paterson, who lives in Finnart Street, had been out walking his dogs only minutes before a tree fell onto the road.
Speaking at the time, Mr Paterson, pictured, said he and his neighbour had previously raised concerns about the ‘dangerous’ trees located across from their homes.
Following the incident, Inverclyde Council carried out extensive work at the site to make it safe.