Sunday, May 01, 2016

Council uprooted and replaced replacement trees after planting the wrong species

A row of crab apple trees planted in a Worcestershire town have been uprooted after it was found the wrong species had been planted. Eighteen trees in Broad Street, Pershore, were felled in March due safety fears, despite attempts by campaigners to save them. The council planted replacement trees, but has pulled them up after admitting it had used the wrong species.

Campaigner Shirley Agg said the whole thing had been a "farce". The trees have now been replaced once again. The original trees, known as the London planes, were planted in the street in 2002, but the roots began to raise paving. Worcestershire County Council said it was dealing with several claims from pedestrians who had tripped and deemed them a health and safety hazard.

But Mrs Agg said: "It is really farcical. The planes made a beautiful avenue of trees." She added that she was concerned the latest crab apple trees had been "planted too quickly", and claimed some of the original planes' roots had not been properly removed. The council said a variety of crab apple tree called Red Sentinel had been mistakenly planted due to a "supplier error", and had been replaced at the supplier's cost.

The mistake was noticed by a member of council staff once the trees started to bud. "The issue is around the amount of fruit and how much of a problem it could make for pedestrians," a council spokesman said. "The correct variety is Malus Tribata, which, as a native of much hotter climates, will only bear fruit here during a very hot summer, reducing the chance of fruit falling on the pavements, and lessening the chance of creating slip hazards."

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