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Lesley Hinds launches scheme to plant hundreds of trees across city

Council workers examine a tree blown over in the Meadows

Council workers examine a tree blown over in the Meadows

TREES across the city were toppled in the fierce storms which lashed the country last winter – but now a massive programme is to be launched to bring back branches everywhere.

Hundreds of trees will be planted across the Capital in a bid to replace those blown down in gales or lost to Dutch elm disease.

And today, environment convener Lesley Hinds was marking the start of the scheme by planting the first of the trees in East Princes Street Gardens. More than 370 trees are to be planted across Edinburgh over the next few months as the council undertakes its biggest tree-planting programme in the city’s parks for years.

The combination of gales and disease has cost the Capital’s tree population dear.

In September last year, the tail-end of Hurricane Katia brought down trees, including one which fell on to two cars in Melville Terrace.

Storms in early January wreaked havoc in the city and brought down trees as wind speeds peaked at 102mph on Blackford Hill, the third-highest gusts ever recorded in Edinburgh.

The Royal Botanic Garden was left with a £1 million restoration bill after 35 trees – some up to 125 years old – were completely uprooted or destroyed by the winds and another 40 were damaged.

Around 800 cases of Dutch Elm disease have been reported in Edinburgh this year alone.

A mixture of native and non-native species will be planted in parks and greenspaces across the city.

Most will be young trees, between three and four metres tall, rather than saplings.

They will be protected with stakes and guards, which will be removed as the trees mature.

A total of 373 trees will be planted and the programme is expected to be completed by the end of February next year.

Councillor Hinds said: “Over the last few years high winds and Dutch Elm disease have taken their toll on Edinburgh’s tree stock and we recognise there is a need to ensure we have a healthy tree population for the future.

“This will provide a welcome boost to the city’s beautiful parks and green spaces, as well as improving the attractiveness of the local area.”

The council said the cost of the programme could not be confirmed because it was still going through the tender 
process.

Lothians Greens MSP Alison Johnstone welcomed the announcement She said: “Once we let gaps in the tree line appear, it’s just harder to catch up with the mature tree growth that’s there.

“Our parks are a hugely important part of what makes Edinburgh an attractive city.” But the Greens’ council group leader, Steve Burgess, questioned whether more could be done in the Capital in light of the Scottish Government’s overall target to plant 100 million trees by 2015.

He said: “In that context, this is a drop in the ocean.”

CENTRAL BARK

The trees will be planted

in almost 50 separate

locations in the city:

CENTRAL

Leith Links

Dalmeny Street Park

Regent Road Gardens

Pilrig Park

Montgomery Street Park

Gayfield Square

Princes Street Gardens East

NORTH

Inverleith Park

Ravelston Park

Keddie Gardens

Victoria Park

Silverknowes Park

Muirhouse Linear Park

East Pilton Park

Gypsy Brae

EAST

Joppa Quarry Park

Brunstane Mill Park

Rosefield Park

Figgate Park

Newcraighall Park

Christian Crescent

SOUTH

The Meadows

/ Bruntsfield Links

Bauks View

Moredun Park

Seven Acre Park

Hermitage of Braid

Inch Park

Liberton Park

Fernieside Recreation Ground

Ferniehill Community Park

WEST

Fauldburn Park

St Margaret’s Park

Allison Park

King George V Park

Cramond Foreshore

Drum Brae Park

Inchcolm Park

Davidson’s Mains Park

Ratho Flyover Park

Ratho Station Park

SOUTH WEST

Marchbank Park

Hailes Quarry Park

Ratho Park

Fairmilehead Park

Redhall Park

Bloomiehall Park

Harrison Park East

 

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