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  • Southside

‘What has happened to our trees?’

Monday, 18th February, 2019 8:00am
‘What has happened to our trees?’

The Dublin 12 Trees group has been documenting the removal of trees on the Southside.

‘What has happened to our trees?’

The Dublin 12 Trees group has been documenting the removal of trees on the Southside.

Gabija Gataveckaite

CONCERNS have been raised by Southside residents that trees are “disappearing” from local areas.

A residential group calling themselves ‘Dublin 12 Trees’ highlighted the issue after trees were removed in St Peter’s Crescent in Walkinstown.

Laura Ní Bhroin, a member of the ‘Dublin 12 Trees’ group said that where “beautiful trees bringing natural life to the area” once stood there was now a scene of “utter devastation”.

In a statement to Southside People she said: “There are seven tree stumps where once stood beautiful trees bringing natural life to the area.

“Now, it is a scene of utter devastation and is appalling to walk by.”

Ní Bhroin said the issue was not confined to just one estate, claiming that if residents went on a stroll throughout the wider area, they would see a similar scene in a number of other places. 

“Residents are going to work and returning at the end of their day to find ugly stumps are all that remain of the trees that had adorned their streets for decades,” she said.

“There is no apparent sign of disease, no damage and no explanation.”

In a statement to Southside People, a spokesperson for South Dublin County Council (SDCC) insisted that tees are only removed when necessary as a last resort.   

The spokesperson for the council acknowledged that their Public Realm Section had arranged for the removal of two trees at St Peter’s Crescent and one tree at St Peter’s Drive.

 “One of the trees at St Peter’s Crescent was removed due to vandalism which had compromised the structure and viability of the tree,” the statement reads.

“The other two trees were removed due to poor structural and biological condition.”

The council added that they operate a planned programme of tree maintenance across the county with other works scheduled to be carried out throughout 2019.

 “In advance of carrying out tree maintenance in an area a survey of all trees in the area is conducted to identify the programme of work required.

“This may include tree pruning or removal of certain trees, or alternatively it may be determined that no maintenance is required on individual trees which have been surveyed,” the council added.

 “In general, wherever possible, the council will avoid the removal of a healthy tree and will seek alternative mitigating measures or engineering solutions to resolve an issue with a tree before felling is considered.”

The Dublin 12 Trees’ group highlighted the benefits of having trees in the local area, including a reduction in crime and antisocial behaviour and improvement in mental health and wellbeing among other factors.

 “These trees cannot simply be replaced as they are 20-plus years old, statuesque and key species in the local ecosystem providing food and shelter for birds and insects as well as pleasure and protection to residents,” Ms Ní Bhroin added.

The group has raised questions whether the trees were removed due to the costs of maintaining them.

They also speculated if trees were removed to make space for a pavement or because they were at risk of falling on pedestrians.

“The people and wildlife of Dublin 12 are now experiencing what is clearly a negative policy implemented by South Dublin County Council that is destructive to all,” Ms Ní Bhroin added. “What was once a beautiful neighbourhood is now a scene of destruction and neglect.”

However, a council spokesperson insisted that tees are only removed when as a last resort.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here