This is why dozens of mature trees need to be chopped down in Milton Keynes city centre

They will be replaced with new ones, says the council
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Dozens of trees in heart of Central Milton Keynes are to be chopped down because they were wrongly planted decades ago, it has been revealed.

Many of the trees were planted when the city centre was being built in the late1970s, when less was known about planting on a concrete landscape. As a result, some have failed to flourish as they should.

A council spokesman said this week: “Many trees of the same type were planted, which was useful for fast coverage but in the long term has made the trees more susceptible to pests and disease.

Many of the trees at CMK were wrongly planted decades ago and must now be felledMany of the trees at CMK were wrongly planted decades ago and must now be felled
Many of the trees at CMK were wrongly planted decades ago and must now be felled

"Additionally, some trees were planted in small holes in paving called tree pits…Sadly, in those days less was known about urban planting. We know today that the size and type of tree didn’t always match the space where they were planted, which means some have died or are dying.”

The council has published now a plan that describes how urban trees will be cared for in ‘Milton Keynes: City of Trees’, with the first project to replace dead or dying trees at Lloyds Court and Midsummer Boulevard starting shortly.

The plan sets out a golden rule to use the right tree in the right place, and to use modern tree planting knowledge to improve the tree pits.

There will be replanting on Midsummer Boulevard where trees have been lost due to compacted soil from the tree pit design and root death. New trees and tree pits have already been trialed in Lloyds Court where up to 80% of the trees on Upper 10th Street had been lost.

New, modern tree pits will be added to the areas, which will then be replanted with more resilient varieties better suited to the environment, including Holm Oak and Honey Locust.

"Trees are vital to a city’s ecosystem - storing carbon, improving air quality, promote urban cooling and supporting biodiversity among other benefits,” said the spokesman.

"Milton Keynes was always intended to be a place where trees would form part of the urban landscape and the scale of planting in Milton Keynes during the 1970s was unprecedented."

Cabinet member for the Public Realm, Cllr Lauren Townsend, said: “Our new City of Trees plan sets out how we can best conserve and add to our urban trees, which play such an important part to the quality of our urban spaces, and to the city’s identity.

"If you notice some unhealthy trees being felled in the city centre, please be assured they will be replaced, and we have a plan to make sure new urban trees live longer and healthier lives.”

The most famous city centre tree to be felled was the giant Midsummer Oak in the middle of Midsummer Place shopping centre. This was confirmed dead in 2015 due to “poor drainage” when the multi-million pound centre was built around it.

It was subsequently felled but its acorns were given to local schools to plant in the hope that new trees would grow.

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