“We’re not tree butchers” say firm called in to fell city’s trees amid protests

Anderson Tree Care at work by the River Sheaf near the city centre: Bob Anderson moving away as a cut tree is hoisted up from the riverbank
Anderson Tree Care at work by the River Sheaf near the city centre: Bob Anderson moving away as a cut tree is hoisted up from the riverbank
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Specialists on the front line of the debate over Sheffield’s street trees have shed light on the daily trials they face.

The workers have defended their ‘vocation’ in the face of being labelled ‘tree butchers’.

The Anderson Tree Care firm has revealed differences in attitude across Sheffield to the issue of felling, and while bosses have praised campaigners, they urged activists to remember that urban trees ‘need management’.

The Sheffield Telegraph accompanied Anderson’s on a job to remove trees on the banks of the River Sheaf as part of work to prevent flooding.

Founder Bob Anderson said the council’s tree replacement programme with private contractor Amey was ‘nothing to do with making money’ and ‘more about making the city easier to look after’, while his colleague Nick McQueen added: “It isn’t necessarily a bad thing for a tree to come down.”

About 10,000 of Sheffield’s 36,000 roadside trees will be cut down and replaced under the Streets Ahead highways scheme.

Read more: Special Report - Workers who must see the good from the trees