WE'VE all heard of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut -- but how about a chainsaw to stop a tree being damaged.
Residents fighting to save trees on their city street claimed Dublin City Council has offered a bizzare reason for cutting them down.
Homeowners in Lennox Street in Dublin 6 were informed the council intends to chop down the trees to prevent them from being damaged.
In a letter outlining reasons for the mass felling, a council official stated that restricted growing areas on the paths were "leading to tree and vehicle damage" and "poor tree growth."
Anxious residents angered by the plan said it seemed ridiculous for the council's response to a threat to the 50-year-old maple trees was to chop them down. To save them from damage, the council planned to destroy them, claimed incredulous residents.
Local councillor Jim O'Callaghan, declared: "These trees just need to be pruned. There's no necessity to knock them. The council's logic is like needing to go to the hairdresser but getting your head chopped off instead."
One resident, who asked not to be named, told the Herald: "The trees make our street beautiful and give our street so much character. We love them. It's really bizarre the council wants to get rid of them. We are a modern European city that should appreciate trees like the rest of Europe does."
The letter invited residents to fell their trees and asked householders to email their comments on the proposal.
The official declared the reasons for chopping down the trees were:
•restricted growing area leading to tree and vehicle damage resulting from the proximity of the street trees to the road;
•the narrow width of the footpath which confines the tree to growing in a small tree pit leading to poor tree growth;
•potential damage to underground basements from tree roots.
A 47-year-old resident said the council's attitude was "absolutely baffling". The council's threat was uniting residents to save their trees, he said.
"This is a lovely area with a great community spirit. But it's like the council are taking a blunderbuss to this issue."
A council spokesman said it was necessary to remove the trees "to limit damage to public and private property and minimise risk to the public".
The council "proposes to implement a replanting programme on Lennox Street" and "is currently making arrangements with the residents to meet the residents," he said.
Cllr O'Callaghan (FF) said the trees were not diseased and he had heard no complaints from any residents about any potential damage to basements caused by roots. Neither were there any reported concerns that the trees could be dangerous in any way, he said.
"Concerns about trees on streets should not have to lead to chopping down every tree in the city," he said.