Lopped trees to be used for local wood sculptures

A line of Poplar trees at a local beauty spot are in need of urgent safety work and Winchester City Council says the area will gain wood sculptures made from the larger tree limbs.

The trees, at North Walls Recreation ground in the city, will be lopped to prevent larger branches falling off onto the nearby rugby pitch and to reduce their overall height. Smaller limbs will be mulched on site and used on flower beds in the city.

A detailed inspection of the line of trees was part of an ongoing project to check the condition of nearly 6,000 trees across the Council's district.  The work at North Walls is planned to take place during the week beginning 2 October and will last several days. 

The larger tree trunks will be kept on site and turned into wood sculptures as part of an innovative partnership with the local Hyde Sculptures Group.  

Announcing the work, Cllr Frank Pearson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Health & Safety, said "It always saddens me when we have to carry out major work to trees as they are such an important part of the overall streetscene in the City. 

"However, we know this work is unavoidable and is required for safety reasons, and at the same time it will help preserve the trees for future enjoyment.  I am also delighted that we are able to re-use the material being removed to help conserve our flower beds and provide sculptures which will enhance our City."

A large willow tree in Abbey Gardens, Winchester, has also been removed this week as it has a disease called Honey Fungus, which makes the wood very brittle. It is planned to plant two new swamp Cyprus trees in its place over the winter.