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Cheltenham’s tree ‘giants’ get a health visit

Published
09.10.2017

To keep some of the area’s tallest, oldest trees in good health, pruning will take place on Cheltenham promenade.

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To keep some of the area’s tallest, oldest trees in good health, pruning will take place on Cheltenham promenade.

Nine London plane trees, thought to have been planted around 1850, will be pruned between 30th October – 3rd November.

The pruning will help keep the trees strong and healthy for years to come, as well as allowing more light to reach younger trees planted nearby. It will also protect nearby Grade II* listed buildings that the branches are now touching.  The smaller trees in front of the London planes will also be treated to some light pruning.

As part of the scheme, two other trees in the vicinity will have to be felled for safety reasons.  First, a Copper beech tree which has the fungal disease Kretzschmaria deusta which makes it very brittle and therefore unsafe. Second, a Chestnut tree that has a large cavity in its trunk from being hit by vehicles and is leaning into the road. Both pose a significant risk and will be removed on Sunday 29th October.

To allow the work to go ahead, the parking lane along the west side of the Promenade will be closed and the north-bound carriageway width reduced between 9.30am – 3.30pm on 30th October – 3rd November. Temporary traffic lights may also be used at certain times to ensure the safety of the travelling public and the workforce. Residents and businesses with affected parking spaces are being offered alternative parking.

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways and flood said: “These veteran giants of Cheltenham are among the largest trees on Gloucestershire’s highways, as well as being some of the oldest in the town. It’s vital to take care of them now so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come, as well as allowing light through to younger trees and protecting historic buildings nearby.

“Our expert’s examination shows we have no option but to remove two unhealthy trees. These trees are unlikely to survive into the future and pose a safety risk over the coming winter months.”