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Families call for tree to be axed

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 17, 2013

Adele Moss and her son Tyrik Simpson with the cotton-like seeds.

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RESIDENTS are appealing for a tree in their street to be chopped down due to the amount of ‘cotton- like’ seedlings that have been falling over their properties during the summer.

A poplar-type tree, along with others, stands in the middle of the green area in The Walks, off Burton Street, Leek.

Residents are up-in-arms because many cotton-like seeds fall from the tall tree each summer roads, landing on pavements and gardens, and being blown in by the wind into people’s homes.

They are also concerned as branches have fallen from the large tree in the past – one even into a car windscreen.

Residents have expressed their concerns about the tree to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, which owns the grassed area in The Walks.

Resident Huw Jones, who has collected a 20-signature petition, said he had contacted the authority on numerous occasions.

He added: “After several times of not getting a response from the relevant department, I was told that the council was going to send out a consultation letter to the residents in the area regarding the tree. So with that, I have not yet sent in the petition.

“However, we still have not had any consultation letter.”

A spokesman for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: “This seed dispersal is part of the seasonal life of the trees, in the same way as the shedding of leaves in autumn, and is not a reason in itself for us to prune or cut back these trees.

“We are aware of residents’ concerns and will be working with them to review the situation with the trees at The Walks and seeking to agree a way forward.

“The trees at The Walk are not subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

“They are on council-owned land and any work would need council approval anyway, so there is no need to TPO them.”

Mr Jones said of the district council’s response: “Our worry is that it will take a disaster to turn the wheels of bureaucracy and for the the council to fully engage with the residents to seek a way forward.

“We understand that trees are important to the environment and well-being, but this one detracts more from the area than it gives.”

Fellow resident Adele Moss, aged 37, said: “The cotton like seeds are a nightmare in the summer.

“They land in our gardens, in the guttering and also blow into our houses. I am having to hoover up several times a day.

“I have two dogs and the seeds end up in their water bowl. When it is blowing around a lot I have even taken my children out for tea rather than try and make a seedfree meal at home.

“The seeds falling last for several weeks every summer. I have contacted the council before but with no joy.

“The council have sent a road sweeper and then we finally had a lot of rain, which helped.

“However I'm still clearing the cotton-like seeds out of the house at the moment. I am just dreading all this happening again next summer. I would like to see them chop it down.”

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