JONATHAN Bonner asked about the plane tree that is due to be cut down as part of the diocese’s development plan for the west-end entrance to the Minster (The Press, June 28).

As the then City Council’s press officer, I was present at its planting in November 1979, part of what was a pioneering tree-planting campaign by the Lord Mayor, Councillor William Richardson.

It was financed by York Civic Trust in memory of Canon Basil Smith, the Minster’s treasurer from 1963 to 1969 and was estimated to reach its maximum height in 30 years with a life span of 400 years.

I hope the Minster planners will reverse their decision to remove it and appreciate not only its history but its benefits, not least that its shade will be a welcome respite amid the planned hard landscaping in the hot summers to come.

Rachel Semlyen

Blakeney Place, York