Dying city centre street trees to be replaced

Stumps of tress on Howard St
Stumps of tress on Howard St

TREES on Howard Street inn Sheffield city centre are being replaced after suffering the ravages of salt, dogs and vandals.

They were planted during the creation of the precinct as part of a multi-million-pound ‘gateway’ project between the railway station and the city centre.

But six years later, they are being chopped down because they are dead or dying, which has been noted by some passers-by as creating a poor impression for visitors.

Simon Ogden, the council’s head of city regeneration, said a number of factors appeared to be behind the trees dying, including road-salt damage, repeated dog damage to the bark and vandalism.

“Efforts have been made over the last three years to mitigate the salt damage but these were unfortunately unsuccessful.

Given the prominence of this avenue as an arrival point for the city, we felt it was important to replace them now in the current growing season”

New trees are due to arrive in the next few days – a type of maple that is more tolerant of salt than the hornbeams they are replacing.

The new trees will be four to five metres, which will be slightly smaller, and will be wrapped to prevent dogs getting at them.

The work, due to be completed by September, is being carried out by the council and contractors but funded by Sheffield Hallam University, which is on the doorstep and contributed to the initial regeneration project.

The upheaval, though, has been criticised by some passers-by as creating a poor impression for visitors, such as for snooker fans heading for the world championships at the Crucible and delegates of the National Union of Students, who are meeting this week at the City Hall.