Goodbye trees :(

A part of me is dying right now. The Aberdeen City Council is killing the remaining few mature trees on our street because they’re afraid of being sued. Once upon a time our street was so beautiful that artists painted it. Here’s how it used to look:

Murray_Terrace.jpgHere’s how it looks right now:




To say I’m upset by this is an understatement. The council is full of old men without testicles and no taste. They don’t know a beautiful thing when they see it. Right now I’m bawling my eyes out. I’m so sad but so cross at the same time. I hate them. I hate them all. Human stupidity is infinite.

This street will never, ever look like it once did. They’ve put in new, younger trees but they’re much smaller and will never have the grand majesty of these copper beech trees even once they reach maturity, decades from now.

Two of my friends on the street said they objected to the removal of the trees originally but that they were outvoted. One friend also had numerous trees over her back fence and these were also removed by the city council despite having a TPO (tree preservation order). Apparently only the city council can issue a TPO but they can also remove it at will. Who protects the trees from the city council?

15 responses to “Goodbye trees :(”

  1. The Copper Beech Tree

    the copper beech tree,
    rooted over the road,
    seems ageless though it has been,
    there since Grandfather Time,
    came from some unknown place,
    and implemented his power,
    into the land.

    the copper beech tree,
    hangs over the road,
    the branches move,
    like a body of
    fine hair in the wind,
    to and fro to and fro to and fro.

    the copper beech tree,
    still over the road,
    sees all walks of life,
    the scolding tramp, the
    busy mothers, the
    mindless teens.

    the copper beech tree,
    watches us from over the road,
    gazing into this silent home.

    It knows, it realises,
    It sees, it feels,
    all the way down,
    to its wise roots.

  2. In Montreal, they have cut down a bunch of large trees in parks and sidewalks, but with reason: the cores are rotten or dead (insect? disease? not sure of the cause). When they cut them down it’s definitely sad, but when you see inside the stump that 80% of it is empty, you understand that they had no choice, before it actually does fall and hurt or kill someone (and some big branches *have* fallen in the biggest park near me). But when I see that stump in your picture, of a perfectly healthy tree, that’s just craziness. Sorry, Rachel. 😦

    • Indeed. I understand the need to remove dead and/or dying trees. These ones were very healthy though. There was no good reason at all.

    • I have heard your reasoning for tree removal many times. It is normal for older trees to be hollow inside. The live and growing part of a tree is from the bark inward a few inches. The center is dead wood or hollow. A hollow center tells you little about the ability of the tree to stand safely. These trees were probably good for another hundred years or more if only the caretakers of them understood them and how to maintain them to coexist with the infrastructure. Most tree service people are trained to use their chainsaws. You don’t get paid if you don’t get your chainsaw out. I have seen communities that have successfully maintained large 200 years old streets because they respected what the tree represented to their present culture and their history. To some of them, the sacred tree was there first so they adapted to it.

  3. I do think those beech trees are a bit inappropriately large. I used to have a eucalyptus in my back garden which I took down because it was just too large and close to the house, in case of root damage or the tree falling in wind. I think it’s a sad case of people deciding to do something 50 years ago without a thought of what the consequences would be. Smaller or trees or more pruning might have helped.
    I do think trees on streets are a good thing though. New style housing estates that have no trees or greenery feel very creepy to me.

    • They had been pruned by city the arborists over the years and I don’t think they were too big for the street. The roots are also not damaging to foundations of homes. The height of those trees is what made them majestic. They reached the roof line of the tall terraced homes. The new trees they’ve planted will never get that high because they’re a much smaller species.

  4. Yes, a sad day, but they have been under suspended sentence for many years now and are almost the last to go in the street. We voted against removal in the first resident’s consultation, but we were very much in a minority. In any case, I recall another wing of the council countermanded the consultation and said they had to go on safety grounds. It might have been less painful if they had taken them down in winter: seeing them lying in full leaf is especially sad. I have very fond memories of them coming into leaf each spring and going each autumn, through colour changes from green to copper to green to brown. 😦

    • In any case, I recall another wing of the council countermanded the consultation and said they had to go on safety grounds.

      I don’t suppose you remember which wing of the council? You’re the third person to tell me they voted against the removal of the trees. I haven’t met a single person who voted in favour. In any case it should never have been put to the residents to begin with. It’s the duty of a local council to protect urban trees from the public – not the other way around.

  5. Sorry, but I can’t remember. The results of the vote were published and I recall a very substantial majority voted for removal. A consultative public meeting was also held, I think in the Inn at the Park. I was away for work and could not go, so not sure, but I think it was organised by the Council. I do remember being surprised that the council were putting such a big effort into the consultation. In any case it all came to nothing as the trees were then deemed by the council to be unsafe. I don’t recall the letter informing us of this making any reference to fear of being sued, but given my difficulty in remembering whether I have had lunch these days, you can’t take much from my recollections. 😉

    • The fear of being sued is the reason the project engineer gave me for removing the trees. I spoke to him in-person about it in the weeks before the trees were removed. Apparently someone on Murray Terrace did sue the council some years ago. An elderly lady tripped and fell and her children sued the council. I have only heard this second hand and haven’t verified its accuracy and I don’t have any other details. You may know more.

      The two other families on the street who were vehemently opposed to removing the trees said that when they went to the meeting at Inn at the Park the people who were in favour gave “more light” as a reason for removing the trees. This frustrated them because it begs the question, why did you buy a house on Murray Terrace if you object to the summer shade? The trees were there long before they bought their homes.

  6. because they’re afraid of being sued
    what a silly reason! by who?

    It’s a shame that they are taking down the trees that grew over many years in no time! I share your pain.

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