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Allington Circle, Kingsmead

Unfortunately, we have had some distressed residents, whilst we were undertaking some essential tree works at Allington Circle.

We have taken ownership of some play areas within the Parish from MKC and this includes Allington Circle. We were aware that no tree survey had been undertaken for quite some time. Therefore, on point of ownership being granted we arranged for an independent tree survey to be completed. The Parish have a responsibility to ensure all the trees within all the parks and surrounding areas are safe, as a duty of care to all residents and visitors.

The tree survey brought to our attention a number of issues ranging from low/moderate/high across all the play areas, flagging Allington Circle as particularly high risk.

There are 37 trees in this play area, this largely comprises of a group of trees around the perimeter of the play area and a small number of trees within the central part of the play area. Of the 37 trees recorded 14 require remedial works, and most of the works required complete tree removal or removal of deadwood. The trees around the perimeter are Narrow Leaved Ash, which are of a similar age, planted at time of development. And the trees within the central part are limited to small Crab Apple varieties, which provide a good wildlife resource and despite the seasonal nuisances of rotting fruit on the ground, are a positive element to the area.

Unfortunately, most of the Narrow Leaved Ash trees around the perimeter have suffered limb or branch failures and some are in a particular poor condition such that sympathetic pruning, to achieve their retention is not a realistic option. Narrow Leaved Ash have weak and brittle wood characteristics, and often form acute branch or stem unions which have a propensity for failure. The proximity of the trees to tangible targets such as the play area, highway, and parking areas means that in many cases their safe long-term retention is limited. Pruning and removal of trees has been specified to a number of the trees, but it is likely that further removals will be required in the short-medium term.

Careful consideration has been given to succession planting of a more suitable species choice, around the perimeter, as the gradual erosion of trees from the street scene, would be of detriment to the surroundings.

Due to the removal of trees specified this will allow some space for replanting, but the presence of the neighbouring trees may lead to poor formation, and so further removals, to enable the successful establishment of new trees should also be considered. As the trees become unstable. We cannot give a timeline; however, we will be undertaking replacement species which reach only moderate heights (around 12-15m) that offer good seasonal interests and does not cause much in the way of conflicts with the highway; recommendations include:

• • Sweet Gum (Liquidambar Styraciflau)

• • Ornamental variety of Hawthorn (Crataegus var.)

• • Golden Elm (Ulmus × hollandica ‘Wredei’)

• • Variegated tree Privet (Ligustrum lucidum variegate

Please be assured we will never fell any tree unless we really need to, we are fully aware how trees improve biodiversity.

Thanks

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