Trees ‘significant risk’ to homes

Trees in the town centre could be felled because they pose a ‘significant risk’ to nearby homes.

An application to have 12 populus trees removed was submitted by the landowner to Crawley Borough Council after they were suspected of suffering from honey fungus, which attacks and kills the roots of many woody and perennial plants.

The trees are rooted on privately owned land and are close to properties in Friars Rookery and a footpath in Northgate Avenue in Northgate.

An arboricultural report was carried out by Graeme Bain Tree Services on behalf of Crawley Borough Council which found the trees pose a ‘significant risk’ to the properties in Friars Rookery and Northgate Avenue.

The report said a new growth has formed on the trees and they are now at a height of 27 metres which places the trees within falling distance of houses in the street, the footpath on Northgate Avenue and the footpath which runs alongside Central Sussex College.

The report said if the trees are trimmed to seven metres tall, the risk would decrease.

The report also said the trees posed a risk of subsidence to the properties at Friars Rookery.

The Royal Horticultural Society guidelines state that trees with weaker wood are prone to producing multiple shoots and can become hazardous because weakly attached branches can break off and hit the ground.

It recommends that the Populus species of tree should not be within 20m of properties.

A decision on whether the trees will be felled or trimmed to seven metres is expected on February 14.