Trees in Bayside / Sutton Park – Rubber paving the solution?

The Council is proposing a tree felling programme in Bayside and Sutton Park due to damage to footpaths from tree roots.   (See the report below.) I got the area Committee to defer this for a month to allow the public to express their views.  Meanwhile, I have learnt of the use of rubber paving (recycled from old tires) around trees, as it flexes rather than cracks with the movement of roots.  It is also a better surface to walk on and much softer if someone does fall. More information here, here, here and here.

ITEM NO. 21 (a)

As agreed previously the council will not carry out any planned removal of street trees in
the Bayside area of Sutton without the approval of this committee.
Research indicates that trees growing in verges wider than 8 foot (2.4 m) are unlikely to
damage hard landscape features such as paths and garden walls ( Shigo: Modem
Arboriculture). It is the Council’s intention to retain all healthy trees growing in verges
of this width. However there are a number of roads with verges less than 1 meter in width
where large growing species have been planted and these trees are now of a size that they
have begun to damage footpaths and other hard landscape features. These trees should be
replaced on a phased basis commencing immediately or the Council will likely be forced
to clear fell large parts of Bayside in 10 – 15 years time.
It is therefore proposed to remove and replace with a more suitable species ‘variety the
street trees at the following locations:
1     23 Bayside Boulevard North. Rowan malformed and multi-stemmed that has
encroached onto the footpath presenting a significant risk of injury to pedestrians
particularly to those with impaired vision. The tree cannot be pruned without
totally disfiguring the plant. Replacement is the best option.
2     2 Bayside Boulevard South. Whitebeam 55cm diameter at breast height with a
severe lean towards road and large surface roots. Whitebeam were traditionally
grafted onto Hawthorn rootstock which has been discovered to be unable to
support the weight of a mature whitebeam. The tree presents an unacceptable risk
of failure in extreme weather conditions and has the potential to cause a serious
road traffic accident if retained.
3     4 Bayside Boulevard South. Sycamore 22 cm diameter at breast height in a 2
meter verge with a significant trunk wound with more than half of the trunk
decayed. This tree has reached the recognised threshold for action to prevent a
predictable failure (Mattheck & Broehler; The Body Language of Trees). This
tree should be removed immediately and replaced with a more suitable species.

4     The trees at No.’s 27 & 129 Bayside Boulevard North, No.’s 24, 20,10 ( 2 trees).
64 ( 2 trees) 38 & 30 Bayside Walk, No. 23 Bayside Park and the trees opposite
No.’s 1. 23. 57 & 59 Bayside Park have heaved the footpaths and present
unacceptable trip hazards and should be replaced with more suitable species. It is
proposed to replace these trees in the current winter season if the Transportation
Department confirms that the footpaths will be repaired.
In total it is proposed to remove 18 trees in Bayside and replace with more suitable
species where space is available.
When the inspection works were being carried out many residents approached the
inspector demanding works to reduce shading of their homes by the street trees.
The Council intends to carry out crown reduction and thinning works on a number of
these trees but notes that in many cases these works will only provide a very temporary
solution and the long term management issues for the trees in the area must still be
In Sutton Park 58 trees have heaved footpaths and present trip hazards of greater than
15mm. It is proposed to replace all of these trees over the next 3 years when the
transportation schedules footpath repairs. The trees are at the following locations:
Sutton Park at house numbers 326, 336, 346, 326, 348, 350, 211, 257 ( 2 trees) 257A, 257
B(2 trees), 26 (2 trees), 45, 25, 84, 82, 80, 77, 75, 66, 65, 185, 186, 188, 156, 160, 143.
119. 154. 156. 200A. 254. 251. 247. 240. 238. 234. 230. 228. 259, 261, 269, 271, 273.
277, 279, 285, 289, 291 and the trees opposite numbers 357, 356, 355, 344. 343, 253,
289A and 288A.