Oban resident lives in fear of ‘dangerous’ trees

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An Oban resident who has been highlighting ‘dangerous’ trees on Glenshellach Road for 12 years says he lives in fear.

Iain Dougall has been campaigning since 2006 for something to be done about the trees after a survey was carried out, which reported that four trees needed to be felled.

Mr Dougall’s fear became a reality when one of the highlighted trees came down just before Storm Ali swept through the region last month.

He said: ‘I was lying in bed and heard the tree coming down. That’s how well I sleep when it’s windy.

‘The tree that came down should have triggered a wake-up call to have the 2006 recommendations acted on unless there was another authoritative tree survey to support a different course of action.

‘All I am looking for is an up-to-date tree condition report, a simple overdue updating of a 12-year-old report that will keep me and the wider community safe from falling trees.’

Mr Dougall showed The Oban Times a copy of the tree condition report from 2006.

It said: ‘There are about four trees that should be felled immediately and a further seven needing surgery or aerial inspections.’

Councillor Elaine Robertson said: ‘As far as I know, MacLeod’s are the landowners and they are looking at it.

‘Obviously, it’s of concern if there are over-mature trees. We have passed it on to the relevant people who have the skills.’

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: ‘We are responsible for the road and keeping it open. The trees are on private land and present no imminent danger to the road.’

A spokesperson for MacLeod Construction and Scottish Woodlands said: ‘Glenshellach woodland is a significant landscape feature which is covered by a tree preservation order.

‘It is also a very diverse woodland comprised of both veteran mature trees and younger naturally regenerated trees which provide a high conservation value for a variety of flora and fauna.

‘Scottish Woodlands have been reviewing the woodland area, have undertaken initial inspection works and have been in close liaison with the council in relation to producing an appropriate up-to-date Woodland Management Plan (WMP).

‘A more detailed survey involving core sampling of some of the trees is the next stage following on from the visual inspections which were carried out in the pre-leaf period and the full-leaf period.

‘Following the outcome of the more detailed survey, a WMP will be produced with a list of recommended actions.

‘This plan will require to be agreed with and approved by the council following the protocols for woodland areas designated under tree preservation orders.

‘While there was a tree blown down in Glenshellach Wood in the week Storm Ali hit Scotland, many trees, branches and limbs were brought down throughout Scotland during what was regarded as an unseasonal storm.

‘Usually storm periods coincide with broadleaf trees not being in full leaf.’