Council Faces Backlash for Drastic Pruning of Trees Along Charminster Avenue

Council Faces Backlash for Drastic Pruning of Trees Along Charminster Avenue

Residents of Charminster Avenue in Bournemouth, Dorset, are expressing dismay and frustration as over 50 lime trees that line their smart residential street underwent extensive pruning without prior notice.

The Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (BCP) Council defended the action, citing the necessity of pollarding to ensure the health of the trees and public safety.

Unprecedented Pruning:

Despite the council’s assertion that pollarding is a routine procedure carried out every five years, residents like Carlie Palmer, who has lived on Charminster Avenue for two years, are expressing shock at the unprecedented severity of the pruning.

Palmer described the situation as ‘butchery’ and an ‘environmental disaster,’ emphasizing the impact on wildlife, including squirrels, birds, and butterflies.

Resident’s Perspective:

Carlie Palmer, a resident along the avenue, expressed her disbelief at the extent of the pruning, stating that the trees, a defining feature of the avenue for over 50 years, now resemble mere stumps.

She highlighted the ecological significance of the trees and questioned the validity of causing such harm to the beautiful specimens.

Council’s Explanation:

BCP Council clarified that the pruning process, known as pollarding, involves removing the upper branches of a tree to encourage the growth of a dense head of foliage and branches.

The trees on Charminster Avenue, protected by Tree Preservation Orders, have undergone this process regularly, approximately every five to six years, ensuring their health and public safety.

Pollarding Necessity:

According to the council, once the pollarding process is initiated, it must continue for the remainder of the trees’ lives to maintain their health and ensure the safety of the public.

The decision to pollard is grounded in the long-term well-being of the trees, with the procedure deemed essential for their sustained vitality.

Community Concerns:

While the council emphasizes the necessity of pollarding for the trees’ health, residents like Carlie Palmer raise valid concerns about the visual impact and the immediate loss of habitat for local wildlife.

The clash between the council’s maintenance practices and the community’s appreciation for the ecological and aesthetic value of the trees underscores the challenges in balancing conservation efforts with public sentiment.


The controversy surrounding the pruning of trees along Charminster Avenue highlights the delicate balance councils must strike between arboricultural practices, environmental preservation, and community expectations.

As discussions continue, it remains crucial for local authorities to transparently communicate the reasons behind such interventions, considering the profound impact on both the local environment and the residents’ quality of life.

TDPel Media

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