‘Poison leaves’ delay pruning of overgrown trees

by | Nov 22, 2014 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Trees on a residential road have been left in an overgrown state – because the council considers their leaves too dangerous to pruning staff.

The plane trees in Heaviley are close to homes and grow faster than a rolling three-year maintenance programme can keep up with.

And at a central area committee meeting it was said that they could not be pruned in the summer as council workers must wait until the leaves fall off as they can cause respiratory problems.

Council leader Sue Derbyshire said: “The leaves have barbs on them that can cause serious allergy problems. It has to be done in winter.”

The 60ft-high trees line Nangreave Road and staff work their way along over three years before starting again.

Residents have complained that the roots and branches have become so big they are threatening to damage homes and debris often falls on passers-by.

A further problem is that emergency work – over and above the three-year programme – to get 15 of the trees back under control would cost £5,000.

And now the correct time of year has arrived, the central area committee has run out of cash in this year’s highways budget.

Coun Derbyshire said: “The trees are growing faster than the council can get round them.

“We need to spend more than we have got and ask any other ward (of Stockport ) if they can sub us to April.”

Douglas Manley, 72, of Nangreave Road, has complained about the trees.

He said: “The maintenance is not sufficient.

“You would think the council could use protective clothing, the barbs on leaves sounds like an excuse.”

Simon Richmond, from the Arboricultural Association, said: “Plane tree leaves have small hairs that can cause respiratory problems. You can wait till the leaves are off and the tree is no hazard.”