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Vandals strip life from trees

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Trees in Southwell town centre have been killed by vandals pulling bark off the trunks.

Southwell Town Council believes the four leylandii trees were damaged by young people who congregate in the Market Square.

A town councillor Mr Andy Gregory said: “It is very sad that something like that has happened and it spoils the Market Square.

“The trees need to be replaced to keep the area looking nice.”

He said the youngsters probably didn’t realise what impact stripping the bark would have. It has been removed up to a height of about 6ft.

Removing the bark kills the trees because there is a layer of tissue beneath it that takes food round the tree. That layer comes off with the bark.

The trees are 20-25 years-old and 25ft-30ft high.

Newark and Sherwood District Council’s community facilities manager Mr Jim Besson said three trees were dead and a fourth would have to come down too.

“We will have to look at replacements that deter the vandalism and protects the boundaries.

“These were semi-mature trees in a conservation area and they’re not currently a danger to anyone so they will be replaced as soon as we can get round to it.

“The Market Square is a gathering place for teenagers and we are wondering if these sorts of tree are the right sort to be there.

“We are thinking of replacing them with shrubs of a thorny nature.

“I’ve never seen people do anything like this to trees before.

“It must be so laborious and it can’t be very pleasant because the trees produce quite a lot of resin.

“There is some evidence of charring to the trees so I’m wondering whether they have been pulling the bark off and burning it. Although it is green wood it carries quite a lot of tannin so is quite inflammable.”

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