A concerned resident whose home was damaged by a falling branch from a much-loved Corsican pine was told it cannot be cut. The 70-foot tree is on land owned by Swansea Council in West Cross, on the edge of YGG Llwynderw, and is adjacent to The Lodge’s back garden, whose owner, Alan Evans, wants it cut down. Evans claimed the tree had been on his land for some time.

He said a five-metre-long fallen branch had damaged the corner of his roof when it was torn off during a severe storm in February 2022. The following month, the council notified the protection of the Corsican pine with a Tree Conservation Order ( TPO). .

A month later, Mr. Evans, who opposed the interim TPO along with YGG director Llwynderw, asked the board to cut down the tree after it was inspected by an arborist. A tree expert said there was evidence of a disease known as canopy burn, which can cause branches to droop as well as bug holes. There were 46 objections to the request, although some were not from Swansea people. You can get more Swansea news and other news straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletters here.

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One of the opponents said in an email to the council: “I have always found the applicant to be very pleasant, friendly and supportive of the local community since he became our neighbor a few years ago and I don’t want to make him or his wife unnecessary. anxiety.

“However, I believe this tree is too beautiful and an iconic feature of the area for its demise to be caused by the fear of its immediate neighbors, although I can empathize with their concerns and the perceived threat and actual damage to their property following a . one of the worst storms in decades.

“Although this tree had three branches broken, this tree demonstrated its strength and resilience during this storm by standing up when many people did not.” Another objector, also from West Cross, said: “This tree is an integral part of our skyline, our community.”

Corsican pine on West Cross Avenue

The Branch That Fell on the Roof by Alan Evans

In May 2022, the board rejected Mr. Evans, saying there was not enough evidence to justify the loss of the pine given its value to the neighborhood. Evans appealed the decision, arguing that it was becoming a safety issue. The appeal documents say, “High potential for accidents due to falling branches.” Mr. Evans was also concerned that tree needles were blocking gutters and downspouts on his home’s roof, and that the adjacent stone wall had been damaged.

The council appealed, which has now been decided in favor of the local authority by the Welsh government-appointed planning inspector, Ivan Lloyd, who upheld the authority’s decision to reject.

Lloyd said the board also noted evidence of tip damage, but the tree’s crown was “characteristically green” although it was sparsely covered. He said Evans foresters had estimated its life expectancy at five years, while the council estimated it at 20 to 40 years. Lloyd added that the Corsican pine provided “significant value” to the neighborhood.

“While there are several trees in the area, this attractive tree is particularly prominent and is an important landscape feature,” he said. Lloyd said he sympathized with Evans’ concerns but said the cuts needed strong justification.

Referring to the holes, Mr. Lloyd said he saw several small holes on one side of the tree trunk, but these were different from those shown in Mr. Evans. Lloyd said the holes shown in the photo could be cracks in the bark.

“There is no diagnostic or structural evidence to support the conclusion that the health and condition of the resource tree will lead to imminent failure,” he said. “There is greater concern for safety on the part of the appellant and I am sympathetic to the fact that the house, playground and road are within range of this tree.

“It is stated that more branch breaks are to be expected. However, the board indicates that it plans to carry out pruning work on the tree to reduce the likelihood of branch breakage in high winds. This, the council says, is a precautionary measure, not an acknowledgment of the tree’s shortcomings.”

Evans said he believed the tree’s condition had deteriorated since he and his wife moved into The Lodge seven years ago, and he didn’t realize at the time the impact it would have on them. He responded to Planning Environment Decision Wales (PEDW) on Mr. Lloyd, saying it contained some inaccuracies and was flawed. He said PEDW had 20 business days to respond.

Local Democracy Reporting contacted the PEDW and asked the council when it planned to carry out the pruning work, but did not hear back by the time of publication. Meanwhile, the TPO for the Corsican pine was approved in July 2022 by the municipality’s planning committee.

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