Work will begin next week on a makeover to Dortmund Square in Leeds city centre which will include the planting of a signature tree in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
From Monday 19 November, work will begin on a refurbishment project which will run until February to improve walkways, street lighting and seating at the square located off The Headrow to open up and enhance the space for visitors to the city centre, shoppers and families.
The first phase of the project being carried out by Leeds City Council will see the four Whitebeam Sorbus trees which currently line the square being removed by officers from the parks and countryside service.
Due to the lack of adequate rooting depth, the trees have set down roots that over time have lifted the surrounding flagstones creating uneven surfaces and causing hazards for pedestrians walking by.
After the trees have been removed, the existing flagstones will be taken up and a hole will be excavated in the centre of the square early in the New Year. This will host the new London Plane tree to be put in place in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which was celebrated this summer.
The tree will initially be six metres tall and weigh 1.5 tonnes. It will be placed in the centre of the square, in a tree pit which will contain state-of-the-art engineering to allow for healthy long-term root growth and drainage.
It is estimated that once fully grown, the tree will reach over 100 feet in height (30 metres) and live well beyond 100 years.
Once the tree has been installed, the surface of the square will then be recreated with new flagstones put in place, while there will also be improvements to lighting, the existing benches being replaced and CCTV cameras being realigned.
Leeds City Council executive member for the environment Councillor Mark Dobson said:
“Dortmund Square is one of the busiest thoroughfairs in the city centre, and this project will not only see a fantastic new tree put in place in honour of Her Majesty The Queen, it will allow us to greatly enhance the overall look of the square and open up the space making it safer and more attractive to pedestrians and visitors.
“We are very mindful of the need not to cause any disruption in the pre-Christmas period, so the only difference pedestrians will see until the New Year will be the removal of the existing trees with the remainder of the work beginning in January.”
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