Thursday, 9 May 2013

The passing of a tree goes not unnoticed

Last weekend saw City Council workmen removing a London Plane tree which had stood beside the Derby Road in Lenton for well over one hundred years. There were reasons why the tree had to go. The base of its trunk had encroached on the pavement so much so that baby buggies and wheelchairs could not get by without stepping out onto the busy Derby Road.

At 8am on Saturday morning, the men had already been at work for a while and I had heard their saw cutting back the branches as I got ready. I took this photo as Susan and I began our trip to Derby.

When we got back at 4pm, this was all that was left. As you can see, the tree was blocking the pavement to the point where it had become dangerous.

On Tuesday, after the May Day Bank Holiday, the job was finished and the spot where the last London Plane on this section of the Derby Road in Lenton was no more, lost under tarmac.

I took this photo on Saturday too and have stripped the colour out. This is looking west from the crossing just down from Gloucester Avenue and you can see how many fine London Plane remain on the section of the Derby Road. Just down on the left is Lenton Recreation Ground. I got the idea for doing this from a review of New York Arbor by Mitch Epstein, which I read in a The Guardian a couple of Saturdays ago (

I rather like the effect. Growing up as I did in the late-1940s and 1950s I remember most of my childhood and teenage years in shades of grey. Colour looks odd. Trees are like people and animals, they deserve to be treated with respect.

Finally, in Lenton Times No.24, October 2006, there is an article about the trolleybuses which used to run along the Derby Road and it includes a wonderful photograph of a trolleybus pulling away from the very same bus stop you can see in the photographs above. I am hoping to get permission to include the photograph in this blog entry. It is a wet day and shows two trees where there are now none. All the Bulwell Stone walls are in place. Now, most have gone, as have the front gardens, so that cars can be parked off road.

What saddens me most is the fact that, already, people walk over the newly laid tarmac without a moment's thought as to what Lenton has lost. The City Council has promised to plant five new trees in Lenton, probably in an existing open space, to make up the loss. Wouldn't it be nice if they could be in a street like nearby Gloucester Avenue, which has no trees. The trouble is that car owners already complain about the bird droppings which fall onto their cars from trees and actually want to see trees removed — not left or planted.

Me? I'm on the side of the trees every time. I hope you are too.

1 comment:

Larry Novac said...

They should have left the tree and moved the sidewalk. The tree was there first.