Locals split as 'terrifying' 60-year-old chestnut tree is felled

Residents were split over what should be done about the Horse Chestnut Tree on Alexandra Road

Residents were split over what should be done about the Horse Chestnut Tree on Alexandra Road - Credit: Archant

A "massive" chestnut tree on the edge of Norwich's golden triangle is being removed by the council over safety fears.

The horse chestnut tree in the car park behind Alexandra Road in Norwich will be removed over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, though it could take longer if the weather makes things inconvenient.

A Norwich City Council spokeswoman said there were hopes the tree, estimated to be 60 years old and 16m in height, could be saved last year — but there had been further incidents of branches narrowly missing parked cars and falling into neighbours' gardens since.

Residents were split over what should be done about the Horse Chestnut Tree on Alexandra Road

Residents were split over what should be done about the Horse Chestnut Tree on Alexandra Road - Credit: Archant

She said: "We've been closely monitoring the tree for several years now due to concerns over its safety.

"We carried out remedial works in the hope we could save it last year, but sadly we're now having to remove it.


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"We'll be planting two replacement trees later this year, but no decision has been made on the type yet."

The family living directly next door to the tree said they "can't wait to see the back of it".

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The resident, who asked not to be named, said: "It's honestly terrifying, that tree. I can't wait to see it go. It's dangerous.

"It's absolutely massive, and when there's high winds it sways like mad. My partner has had sleepless nights worrying it's going to fall and crush us. 

"Last year a branch fell down and came within inches of a car."

Alexandra Road tree

Aboricultural officers said they would be reducing the tree significantly in size over the course of the next two days - Credit: Sarah Burgess

But another resident said she was "sorry to see the tree go".

"I know it might be a safety concern", she said, "but there's got to be another way. It's such a big, beautiful tree.

"It's a real shame."

A man living further down Alexandra Road, away from the immediate threat of falling debris, said: "It was never planted, it just grew of its own accord.

"It's got so many different trunks growing into each other it makes it prone to infection.

"Sadly, it's quite diseased now."

tree alexandra road

The carpark was blocked off as arboricultural officers worked to reduce the tree and make the site safe - Credit: Sarah Burgess

He added: "I think the general consensus is that nobody wants to see trees cut down, especially when they're as lovely as that one.

"But it's got to be done. It's dangerous the way it is and I feel for the people living right beside it."

Courtney Traub, a few doors down, said: "I am a firm ecologist and support having trees around, but if it's dangerous then that's that."

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