Give big evergreens the chop

Cllr. Kevin Sheahan, Limerick. Pic. Brian Arthur/ Press 22.FIANNA Fáil councillor Kevin Sheahan is calling for bylaws limiting the height of evergreen trees and governing their distance from people’s homes.

According to Cllr Sheahan, non-native evergreens are growing as tall as 80 feet in parts of the county near homes and roads, putting whole communities at risk. Following last week’s devastating storms, he said there was no doubting that these “monstrosities” were a danger to “life and limb”.

“They are also infested with flies and all types of insects,” he told members of Limerick County Council‘s Planning and Development Committee.

“There was great upset amongst the community in Kildimo over the flooding of their cemetery. One of these monster trees fell down during last week’s storm breaking headstones and these trees are now a bigger cause for concern than the flooding from the week before,” he declared.

He proposed that evergreen trees should not be planted within 100 metres of a dwelling house and called for their height to be limited to 8 to 10 feet.

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Director of services for Planning and Development, Gerry Sheeran said there was no simple solution to this issue and reminded Cllr Sheahan that planning permission was not needed as the trees were already in situ. If trees were a danger to public safety that it would be an issue for the local authority’s environment and traffic departments.