Fury as Leighton trees “hacked” down - but here’s why

A cut down tree photographed by a shocked passer by
A cut down tree photographed by a shocked passer by
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Anger has mounted as the potted High Street trees have been “hacked” down.

Leighton has enjoyed the plants since 2011, but last week shocked residents saw workmen cut them down.

An image showing what the new giant precinct planters with their conversion kits will look like.

An image showing what the new giant precinct planters with their conversion kits will look like.

Philip Curtis, of Selections, said: “I’m just disappointed because The Leighton-Linslade Partnership Committee spent a lot of time and money choosing the right trees.”

“The town is trying to be green - we don’t want them killed. I respect Ian Haynes, Head of Grounds and Environmental Services at Leighton-Linslade Town Council, for getting back to me quickly to explain what has happened.”

Another resident tweeted the LBO saying: “Wicked waste in high street today - 6 trees uprooted and destroyed - Onlookers appalled - just because?”

The LBO contacted Mr Haynes, who said: “The two silver birch trees had died over the winter and the two purple leaf cherry trees and two non-fruiting pears were already dying.

“They were ‘pot-bound’, meaning that if you leave plants in a pot the roots start circling the edge.

“The roots wrap around itself and the tree starts to die.

“Had we replanted the trees elsewhere it is likely the roots would have continued to do this.

“We did try to save the four other trees. However, we tried removing the (dead) silver birch trees and found this was not possible without damaging the pots.

“Do you protect £500-£600 worth of trees – already in decline – or do you protect the circa £6,000 invested in the pots? Could the trees have been removed earlier? They were left in there too long.

“I don’t want to talk ill of my predecessors but perhaps they did not wish to upset anyone by taking them out.

“I’m new and since I’ve been monitoring the trees for the past 18 months, they’ve always been in decline.”

In July 2016 the town council announced on Facebook that the planters would be “removed in the upcoming months” and their condition reviewed.

The pots will be reused for giant precinct planters - two near the the War Memorial and four “highly likely” to go in the High Street.