Row over 40-year-old cherry tree cut down in Wellingborough

Cherry tree in Northampton Road before being cut down
Cherry tree in Northampton Road before being cut down

A Wellingborough woman has complained after a cherry tree that had been growing for more than 40 years was suddenly cut down.

Beatrice Young, of Northampton Road, said that the tree, which she believed was in a healthy condition, was one of at least three or four along the stretch of road to be removed.

Her daughter, Susan Anderson, said Wellingborough Council’s decision to cut down the tree without notification was “extremely disrepsectful and not acceptable” and raised concerns about what would be planted in its place.

The council has since responded to Mrs Young, explaining that the tree had in fact been classed as ‘unsafe’ because of ‘branch decay’ but added that its tree maintenance budget cannot stretch to a replacement.

Mrs Anderson said: “The tree was old, but it was healthy and certainly not in any way unstable.

“It needed a prune to keep the branches out of the telephone wires, but did not need cutting down completely.

“I am aware that three or four others have also been cut down along Northampton Road.

“My mother has lived there for 41 years, but was told nothing about this at any point.

“I discovered what had happened by chance. This is extremely disrespectful and not acceptable.”

A council spokesman said: “The tree concerned had decay within its branches and was at risk of branch failure.

“We have no obligation to notify the public of the pending removal of an unsafe tree.

“The council and its service provider Wellingborough Norse do not remove healthy trees, with the exception of subsidence claims.

“The stump will be removed, but unfortunately our tree maintenance budget only covers work for safety reasons and limited essential work with regard to the care and protection of the tree, and not for planting.”