Tree-mendous amount of work for council
IF you thought you had it tough when Renfrewshire was battered by storms earlier this month, spare a thought for the hard-working team of council staff who were handed the task of clearing away more than 150 fallen trees.
So many trees were toppled in the Paisley area as powerful winds of more than 90mph left a trail of destruction in their wake that, if you laid them end to end, they would stretch for around one mile.
That’s enough to cover the distance from Paisley Abbey to Reid Kerr College.
Had all of the fallen trees been put through a shredder, there would have been enough bark to fill 1,000 play parks.
And, if you ever wondered what happened to all the wood which had to be made safe or shifted, the Paisley Daily Express has the answer.
A Renfrewshire Council spokesman revealed: “If a tree has fallen in a wooded area, we normally make it safe and leave it where it is.
“This is because it can often be very difficult to get heavy machinery in situ to remove the tree.
“Also, decaying trees form an important part of our natural eco-system, providing a home and a food source for a wide range of insects and other plants and fungi.
“If a tree has fallen in an urban setting, that’s a different matter entirely. It is normally chopped up and taken away for recycling.
“Sometimes, they can be used for decorative purposes, such as log benches, or they may be used to line a children’s playground with bark.
“We always try to ensure that nothing goes to waste.”
The greatest concentration of toppled trees after the January 3 storm was in the Charleston area of Paisley, where roads, such as Ardgowan Street and Hunterhill Road, were badly affected, while Foxbar and Glenburn also saw more than their fair share of problems.
Many trees in Renfrew, Johnstone, Erskine, Bishopton and Houston were also brought crashing down. In fact, some of the larger trees which bit the dust were concentrated in outlying villages.
The council spokesman added: “The average weight of a fallen tree is around five tonnes. Our lorries go onto a weigh bridge at the depot, so we can be reasonably sure about this.
“Let’s just say that a falling tree is certainly not something you would want landing on your person, car or house!”
At Barshaw Park, in Paisley, more than 30 trees were blown over by the gale-force winds.
The spokesman said: “Working on the assumption that our average tree weighs five tonnes, it would be fair to say that 1,000 tonnes of timber was brought down by the storms and this, of course, meant a major clearing-up operation.”
The tallest tree to be toppled in Renfrewshire was around 50 feet tall but that was a mere midget compared to its cousins in the vicinity of the National Park in California, where there is an abundance of Coast Redwoods, which measure up at 380 feet tall.
Then there’s the Montezuma Cypress, with a whopping girth of almost 40 feet.
It’s fair to say there wouldn’t have been much left of a humble Vauxhall Corsa had one of these brutes landed on the bonnet!