North East Lincolnshire Council’s busiest season is underway as the borough’s trees face the winter weather. The council is responsible for more than 100,000 trees by roadsides, in parks, cemeteries and in open spaces.
A planned programme of maintenance work by the council’s grounds maintenance teams keeps trees healthy and safe, with work prioritised depending on the risk the tree presents to public safety. Winter is a critical time as the weather worsens and storms and high winds can damage even healthy trees. Trees under the council’s control are routinely checked to see if any work is needed.
Even well managed trees can fall or lose branches, particularly during spells of bad weather. It is not always possible to replace fallen or felled trees. Routine and non-emergency work is usually carried out throughout winter to keep disturbance to birds to a minimum.
Specially-trained Council operatives are on-call for when a weather warning is issued. They could be called out any time, day or night to deal with a fallen tree and keep roads and open spaces safe.
Areas may be cordoned off if many trees or branches come down as the team can only deal with one tree at a time. The council is calling on people to only report emergency tree repairs during this busy season. North East Lincolnshire Council often receives reports for tree work it doesn’t deal with.
Things such as pruning, or removing trees due to shading, leaf litter, insect infestation, interference with television reception, overhanging or bird droppings are not the Council’s responsibility.
Not all trees in public places are under the control of the council, some are privately owned and some fall under the control of other organisations.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, cabinet member for Environment at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Trees take a battering at this time of year as weather worsens.
“With over 100,000 trees in our borough, the volume of work is huge, so we have to put the biggest risks first.
“We prioritise and deal with those that pose an immediate risk to ensure they are in a safe condition.
“Roadside trees and those in high footfall areas might receive attention more quickly than those in a more remote location.
“But if a problem with one of the council’s trees is severe, officers will act quickly regardless of its position.”
At this time of year, the council can also receive calls about fallen leaves.
People can help by sweeping up leaves from footpaths outside their own homes, but please do not sweep them into the gullies as this blocks water from draining and can cause localised flooding.
You can put the leaves in your garden waste bin (if you have one) or make compost out of them.
If you spot a problem in between checks, we’d like to hear from you. Please use the online form at www.nelincs.gov.uk/environment-and-community-safety/clean-streets/grounds-maintenance to give us information we can act on.