Extensive planting programme to replace diseased PEH trees
AN EXTENSIVE replanting scheme will seek to enhance the hospital grounds after the loss of three trees to honey fungus, including a mature Turkey oak.
The scheme is being run as part of the hospital modernisation project which is also currently constructing 81 additional parking spaces on the Corbinerie Estate on the Oberlands side of the PEH.
The approved scheme includes 20 replacement trees – six Scots pine, eight silver birch, four sweet chestnut and two English oak – 227 shrubs and 500 hawthorn trees to create a new boundary hedging and the sowing of wild meadow grass.
‘One mature Turkey oak tree had suffered from honey fungus disease for many years and, due to the extent of the disease and potential risk it posed, was removed,’ said director of hospital modernisation, Jan Coleman.
‘The parking spaces had been designed around the tree, no additional spaces were created as a result of its removal and there was a cost associated in doing so.’
Two neighbouring trees which were also affected by honey fungus had already been removed for safety reasons, following consultation with a local tree consultant and Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services.
Mrs Coleman added: ‘It is always extremely regrettable to have to remove any trees but due to expert advice over the health and safety risk for both our staff and the public with the increased possibility of the tree falling or it potentially infecting other mature trees on the site, the consensus has been taken to remove it.
Andy McCutcheon, principal environment services officer at ACLMS, said: ‘Turkey oaks provide an important part of the treescape of the island and where trees can be conserved, we do, but this tree was diseased to the extent that its life expectancy is significantly reduced.
‘The tree could have fallen down as a result of the decay and while we have looked at options to try and keep the tree, none were workable.
‘It is hoped this extensive planting will further enhance the site, not only for our service users and staff but also to provide screening and increase nesting sites and wildlife habitat.’
Once planting is completed HSC will be looking to partner with a local school or similar organisation to create a pollinator patch on the site.
. Planning permission was granted in April 2016 to go ahead with the work as part of the wider hospital modernisation project.