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Tree-mendous! Congrats to Belfast residents who proved their bite was worse than their bark

By Robert McNeill

Published 04/01/2013

Many people are sentimental about trees, in an almost anthropomorphic sense, influenced perhaps by Tolkien, in whose novels voices sometimes erupt from the foliage.

Then the trees begin to walk. Scary!

On the whole, though, you can't beat a good tree.

They're embedded in our psychic landscape and since, outwith Tolkien, they don't have opposable thumbs, it's up to thee and me to protect them. Let's doff our millinery, then, to the good residents of Belfast's Glastonbury Avenue, who've fought might and main to save the city's oldest, tallest street tree.

Engineers from the council's Department of Wanton Destruction tried cutting it down, but angry residents saw them off. Now a provisional tree preservation has been granted.

The department says the old beech tree's roots are a danger to road users.

To which we respond with the following scientific analysis: hish, tish and pish.

One detects bureaucratic will, rather than logic, at work here.

Long live the tree.

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