Campaign is launched to save chestnut trees in Southsea

  • Residents have launched a campaign for the preservation of two chestnut trees in Southsea
  • Owner of the property has applied for permission to fell one of the trees
  • A report the owner commissioned recommended it be cut down
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A CAMPAIGN has been launched by residents to save a pair of historic chestnut trees they fear face the chop.

A tree surgeon has recommended that one of them, which could be as old as 100 years, be felled because it might become a danger to the public.

From left, Karen Fricker, Michael Cross, his wife Jacqui Mairand Hazel Taylor in front of the trees

From left, Karen Fricker, Michael Cross, his wife Jacqui Mairand Hazel Taylor in front of the trees

The tree is on the border of a property in St Andrew’s Road, Southsea, which is owned by John Harmer, who lets the house out to students.

A Facebook page called Save our Chestnut Trees has been started by St Ursula Grove resident Jacqui Mair and has more than 120 members. Mrs Mair, 59, said it would be a huge shame if the tree was felled, and could pave the way for felling a second chestnut tree on the same property, which needs pruning.

Mrs Mair said: ‘They provide wildlife protection, they give fruits during the summer.

‘As I have come and gone into Portsmouth over the years I have noticed that more and more trees have disappeared.

I think there must be another way to deal with it

Jacqui Mair

‘If the tree is dangerous, is there an alternative way of looking after it other than felling it?’

Mr Harmer said he had done his best to maintain the tree over the past 20 years he had owned the property.

He said he was not considering felling the second tree, but had been advised to have the other one cut down.

Mr Harmer said: ‘It’s a shame but it’s simply too large for its position. If it could be cared for in any way to make it more manageable then it’s something I would consider but that’s not what I’ve been advised.’

Mr Harmer has to get permission to fell the tree from Portsmouth City Council because the tree is subject to a tree preservation order.

An independent tree surgeon’s report commissioned by Mr Harmer recommended the tree be felled.

The council’s tree surgeon has said that the tree could be felled if a replacement was planted in its place.

But the council is yet to decide whether to allow the felling, and a decision is expected to be made at a planning meeting on July 22.