Council backtracks on Tarmac tree to allow water access

An earlier photo shows the tree was completely Tarmacked over to the trunk
An earlier photo shows the tree was completely Tarmacked over to the trunk

The Tarmac covering the roots of a high street tree may be replaced with an alternative surface.

The story about the tree sparked much debate on social media, after a photo showing its Tarmacked base was sent in by reader Graham Lelliott, of Busticle Lane, Sompting.

Alterations have been made to the Tarmacked tree

Alterations have been made to the Tarmacked tree

Mr Lelliott, who works at Marks and Spencers nearby and sees the tree everyday, feared it would not receive enough water and asked: “How on earth will this tree survive?”

A spokesperson from West Sussex County Council said the Tarmacking had been carried out as a repair, to ensure the area remained safe for pedestrians.

“Reasonably mature trees such as this generally will not have an issue getting adequate water when Tarmacked over,” said the spokesperson.

Several trees in Worthing were similarly Tarmacked over, the spokesperson added, and said: “However the vitality of the tree is very important to us, so we will monitor this location and take additional measures if appropriate.”

On Sunday, Mr Lelliott sent another photo, which showed the Tarmac immediately surrounding the trunk had been replaced with small stones.

He said: “It would appear that after the Herald were in contact with the council, they have admitted that it wasn’t the best idea their contractors had had.”

The county council spokesperson said: “Following an inspection, it was agreed to carry out interim works so the tree could have additional access to water directly from the surface.”

The council was now looking into putting down an alternative to the Tarmac, including a tree guard, the spokesperson said.

Mr Lelliott commented: “It’s great the Herald has such influence on local issues and would urge readers to make use of the Herald to bring their view or concerns across.”

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