Knowle's Dennis Stuckey is absolutely right to put the council straight on the issue of the 30 poplar trees threatened with felling ('Trees should never have been felled', Bristol Evening Post Soapbox, Aug 9). The council position on the poplars and city trees generally is poor.
Bristol City Council is: removing trees rapidly; does not discuss and consult with the public on trees well; has no proper strategy for city trees - points well made by Vassili Papastavrou from Bristol Street Trees http://www.bristolstreettrees.org/ . One Green Party member has reported an instance when it was requested that two obviously dead trees should be removed from the front of a sheltered housing scheme but the council then removed a further nine despite no signs of disease! This was a very hasty reaction indeed, perhaps due to a misplaced fear of insurance claims.
Thanks to the work of people like Dennis and Vassili pressure is being applied to protect and promote the value of trees in cities. They cool cities, save energy by up to 10% by moderating climate around buildings, shade people, act like air conditioners and pollution filters, divert storm water, and add to our mental as well as physical wellbeing, as well providing wildlife habitats (see http://www.kew.org/ and http://www.treesforcities.org/default.asp ). We need a strategy for more trees here, especially forest shade ones like oaks, planes and limes, which can withstand the harsh conditions and are long lived.
In the case of the threatened poplars it looks like the council may have to think again about cutting them all down ('Popular poplars may avoid axe', Evening Post, Aug 9). The Green Party will continue joining others to watch that the council gets its assessment of these trees right - no healthy trees should get the chop.
Also: see the recent report of the London Assembly Environment Committee on tree loss at -