Why are we removing trees on the University concourse?

We have had confirmation that one of the three Oak trees we recently purchased for the planting scheme on the University concourse has the presence of Oak Processionary Moth (OPM).

OPM is a tree pest because its caterpillars defoliate oak trees, causing significant damage, leaving them weak and more vulnerable to other pests and diseases. The caterpillars can shed their fine hairs and become windblown, which can trigger skin irritations for some animals and people.

We bought the trees from a trusted UK supplier, believing them to be UK stock. The Forestry Commission found there was a problem with Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) elsewhere in the country, they traced the trees back to the supplier and it transpires that they imported this stock from Holland.

We have received an enforcement notice from the Forestry Commission and will be acting on this with immediate effect, to remove and burn the three trees on site.

We have appointed Sheffield Tree Care to conduct this work, which they will be undertaking from 9.30am on Tuesday 23 July. There will be barriers around the area for the duration of the work, estimated to take up to eight hours.

The Fire Brigade and Sheffield City Council have been informed.

We will be replacing the trees with UK stock in the late Autumn when it’s appropriate to plant trees of this type.

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