The “wonky” trees of a South Croydon residential street have been given a reprieve from the cash-strapped council’s chainsaw – for a while, at least, following an Inside Croydon report.
Residents of Mulgrave Road, which is claimed to be “the most historic street in the Chatsworth Road conservation area”, expressed their horror and outrage at the weekend when they discovered that council workmen had condemned around half of the mature plum trees which grace their street. Some of the trees are nearly 100 years old.
Few, if any, of the trees were damaged or diseased, although several had not grown straight.
It was suggested that the council was concerned that such “wonky” trees might cause claims for damages against the authority if they caused injury.
Council sources have told Inside Croydon that the authority, which last year declared itself effectively bankrupt, has no budget to buy replacement trees for at least two years. Other nearby neighbourhoods, where their blossom and fruit trees have been felled in the last three years, have been left waiting for replacements, with little hope that council promises will be fulfilled.
This week, Mulgrave Road residents decorated the under-threat trees with painted green hearts and messages, such as “Please don’t murder me”.
And more than a day after the Inside Croydon reported on the threat to the trees, one Labour councillor, Chris “Thirsty” Clark, tweeted that he had spoken to the council department responsible to seek at least a delay in the demolition of the trees.
Last night, the South Croydon Community Association published a post on social media confirming that there had been a halt to any immediate fellings.
But it added that it is far from certain that the wanton destruction of the plum trees can be stopped indefinitely, despite what they call a “senseless removal of healthy trees just because they are bent”.
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