Statement on the removal of trees on the consented Rise development


"When Planning Committee approved this development the landscaping details were given in detail. This involved a tree report, a method statement on how the trees should be felled, and details on the trees, plants and shrubs to be planted as part of the scheme.

"Permission was granted to remove 13 trees and only those trees have been removed. In return, the developer will plant 25 new trees, a large number of shrubs and herbaceous plants. Seven large species trees will be planted in Llandaff Fields, ensuring any temporary loss of screening when viewed from the park will quickly be filled in by new growth.

"Ten of the 13 trees felled were ‘Category C' trees, which are defined as of ‘low quality and value'. One was close to death and the other was in terminal decline, the thirteenth was a B category Sycamore in Llandaff Fields. The Sycamore had a compression union which, over time, can result in significant weakness and failure at the fork. Removing the tree will benefit an adjoining ‘A' category Lime and ‘B' category Sycamore. The development offers considerable gains in terms of new trees, improved diversity and a more balanced age class structure while retaining the most important trees like the mature limes.

"The developer contracted a private tree surgeon to carry out the works. The Council has asked for confirmation from the tree surgeon that all checks were taken to ensure no birds were nesting in the trees which were felled. All concerns relating to this should be directed to Natural Resources Wales or the Police. 

"Retaining all existing trees regardless of their condition without allowing opportunities for new trees, is not considered the best approach to combatting the predicted impacts of climate change since it will result in an ageing tree population rather than a tree population with a balanced age-class structure. Furthermore it may lead to certain species dominating the flora, such as Sycamore for example, which is not native and is potentially problematic in woodlands where it can shade out other species. Lack of species diversity can result in vulnerability to catastrophic pest and disease outbreaks and reduced biodiversity.

"Following the issuing of consent, there has been dialogue between the site contractors and the council regarding the details of implementing the approved tree works. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 lockdown, site visits were not possible to clarify matters precisely. This dialogue fell short of the Council formally giving the final approval for the works on Council land and formally updating the supporting information relating to their method statement. Officers are continuing to investigate the precise details relating to the recent removal but it should be stressed that no trees have been removed which shouldn't have been removed."

Ten of the trees felled were ‘Category C' trees which are defined as ‘low quality and value', one was close to dying, and two were ‘Category B' trees. One of these Category B trees was infected by a Phytophthora pathogen and the other was a Sycamore tree.

The new trees that will be planted as part of the development are diverse and include: Alnus x spaethii, Betula maximowicziana, Magnolia grandiflora, Ligustrum japonicum, Tilia cordata ‘Rancho', Prunus ‘Amanogawa; and Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)