How old was the tree felled outside St Albans Clock Tower?
PUBLISHED: 12:19 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:04 29 August 2018
A landmark tree in the heart of St Albans city centre has been felled this week.
The robinia tree, outside the Clock Tower, was chopped down on Tuesday and Wednesday.
A Hertfordshire County Council spokesperson said: “We were called out to this tree over the Bank Holiday weekend as there were immediate safety concerns for the public.
“In cases where a tree has to be completely removed for safety reasons we always take steps to replace it with an appropriate species for the location.”
According to Kate Bretherton’s The Remarkable Trees of St Albans, the tree was planted in the 1970s after St Albans Civic Society complained to the council about the state of the area, where a drinking fountain used to be.
The robinia was used as it reminded parks department employee Paul Arnold about French gardener Jean Robin and the tree named after him, with the obvious link to nearby French Row.
The circular benches and paving stones around it represent three circular landmarks that had been on the site: the 13th century Eleanor Cross, the 18th century Market Cross and the water pump.
County councillor for St Albans Central, Chris White, tweeted: “Sadly the tree by the clocktower is no more. I had planned to fund its replacement next year but anno domini beat us to it and it has now been reduced to a stump. I am having a meeting with Herts County Council officials on Friday about how most speedily to replace it.”
Anno domini is a phrase used to describe advancing age.