(July 2005) Save Our Trees

While I support Suzy Straw’s plea for us to save as many of our mature and beautiful trees as possible, I am responding to her letter in the June edition of Sibford Scene, as I was responsible – and still feel miserable about it – for the felling of our wonderful beech last Autumn.

For nearly a year I lived with the words of the Cherwell District Council tree specialist ringing in my ears (“Beech trees can just fall with no warning”; “If I lived over there, I would move to a tent to the far end of the garden” etc.,) whilst I tried to find someone to reassure me that the tree would not be a hazard to the families living opposite Malvern House.

The beech, which was growing on the edge of a wall and had only 50% of the normal space for its roots, had apparently been planted as part of a hedge and then allowed to mature into its extraordinary shape. We miss the beautiful canopied arch of the beech over Main Street, Sibford Ferris as much as anyone and we certainly miss the privacy it provided.

Our majestic lime tree, however, similarly situated in a wall, will remain, as we are told it is more secure, and if it did fall, it would probably land on our house or in Arnold and Ina’s wild flower meadow – not quite such a worry as the consequences of the beech falling on the houses opposite.

One of the specialists whose advice we sought, explained that the beech and the lime were fine trees for a meadow, but with the meadow long gone and the building in the village increasing at such an extraordinary rate, it is best to plant trees more suited to smaller garden spaces.

Jane Woolfenden