Trees on a West End street have been “decimated” after Aberdeen City Council carried out pollarding works, says a concerned resident.
Colin Mackay believes the leafy tree-lined streets make the West End one of the most beautiful areas of Aberdeen.
Having lived there for 25 years, he has always enjoyed the canopy of mature trees.
But just last month, he was left horrified to see the level of “butchery” being carried out against them.
Aberdeen City Council say they pollarded the trees on Spademill Road for their “long-term protection”.
The technique is a way to prune trees and shrubs back to a trunk, restricting the tree from growing.
But, from Mr Mackay’s perspective, the workers have “decimated them beyond pollarding”.
While he understands the trees need to be maintained for safety reasons he thinks the trees have “basically turned into stumps”.
Pollarding turns ‘beautiful trees into something from a battlefield’
The 52-year-old has likened the scene to something out of a “battlefield”.
According to Mr Mackay, the council said the trees were 60% dead, which is why they needed to carry out the procedure.
But he disputes this, saying there was plenty of green foliage on the trees.
“Obviously, we can’t get a second opinion now,” he sighed.
“There was plenty of green foliage on the trees, so they didn’t look 60% dead to me — they look more than 60% dead now though, that’s without a doubt.
“The trees won’t come back to life, maybe in 20 to 30 years, but the pictures speak for themselves.
“They take tens of years to grow, but it only takes 10 minutes with a chainsaw to destroy them and that’s why I feel so passionate about it.”
The healthcare area manager believes the council carried out the pollarding as a cost-cutting measure and has slammed it as “environmental vandalism”.
Because the trees have been cut right back, he argues the council will not need to spend money pruning them, or carrying out any other maintenance, yearly or bi-yearly.
Mr Mackay also shared concerns about the birds and other animals that live in the trees now being forced to move on.
He said: “I’m a busy man and people might ask ‘Why are you getting on your high horse about this when there’s people who can’t afford to buy groceries?’
“And I’m 100% in agreement with that, but the shared environment we all live in is precious because once it is gone it’s gone.
“The council thinks they can just break out teams with chainsaws and destroy these beautiful trees. But, the trees can’t talk and I feel I’ve got to do something about it.”
Trees will ‘soon recover’ says council
Aberdeen City Council stressed this is a “common” procedure that has been carried out on trees across the city.
A spokesman for the local authority reassured that although the trees “look different now they will soon recover”.
He said: “This work was necessary and undertaken for the long-term protection of the trees. This is a common tree maintenance procedure that has been used across the city.
“Although the trees look different now they will soon recover. “