Fears that newly planted £160,000 trees are already dying

A Sunderland councillor has hit out after residents have complained that trees planted as part of a £160,000 scheme look like they’re dying.

A scheme which has seen 424 trees planted across Sunderland as part of the government’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund to see more trees in urban areas has come under fire after complaints some of the trees are already starting to die.

There are fears that many of the 50 trees planted in the Barnes Park extension between Grindon and Thorney Close appear to be dying.

Complaints from residents about the state of the trees has led to one local councillor calling for the Council to take action to save them.

As well as the 50 trees already planted, the extension park is due to see younger, smaller 'whips' planted in the Autumn.

Commenting, Lib Dem councillor for Grindon and Thorney Close Stephen O'Brien said:

"Residents have contacted me to say they're really worried to see the condition of most of the trees in the extension park between Grindon and Thorney Close going downhill. Whilst the trees were looking healthy and full of green leaves when they were planted just a few weeks ago, they've now started to wither with leaves dying and falling off the branches.

"Local people fear if the trees aren't already dying, a run of hot weather throughout the coming weeks and months will finish them off. They rightly want to know what the plan is to keep them alive and well maintained. 

"Its all well and good for ruling councillors to try and take credit for this tree planting scheme, but they need to be interested in more than a cheap headline and make sure these trees thrive. 

“We need a proper maintenance programme for the existing trees – and for the whips that are being planted here later in the year – otherwise I fear the £160,000 tree planting grant the Council received could be money down the drain.”

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