When will there be a new tree outside St Albans Clock Tower?
PUBLISHED: 17:14 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:14 04 September 2018
A tree that was felled outside St Albans Clock Tower will receive a root and branch replacement by the end of the year.
The robinia tree outside Zizzi’s was chopped down on Tuesday and Wednesday as it posed an immediate risk to the public.
According to Kate Bretherton’s The Remarkable Trees of St Albans, it was planted in the 1970s and the particular genus was chosen as it was named after French gardener Jean Robin and would be near French Row.
It was planted outside the Clock Tower at the request of St Albans Civic Society to spruce up the area around a drinking fountain.
After having tried to save the tree in the past, St Albans Central councillor Chris White met with Herts county council officials last week.
He was told the tree had become brittle due to the summer heatwave and was potentially lethal in high winds as parts could fall off.
The council plans to replace the tree in November with another robinia, but it is understood to be a big job, involving the excavation of the old tree’s stump and its roots.
This would involve removing paving stones and could potentially affect nearby High Street. It is not yet known how long the work would take, how much it will cost, or when it will start or end.
Cllr White was told that due to the historical importance of the tree and the surrounding area, the work has been fast-tracked by the council.
The removal of the tree provoked a wave of complaints from local residents.
The chair of Look! St Albans, Vanessa Gregory, tweeted about the tree: “While I am very pleased the tree will be replaced, I think a full press release from all parties concerned would have avoided, as pointed out in the Herts Advertiser last week, a PR disaster.”
Paul Cadiou said: “I hate to see any tree chopped down, so I was quite upset to see Herts county council had made a swift decision based on ‘immediate safety concerns’.”
Facebook user Jennifer Curson said of the old tree being felled: “This saddens me, but in fairness it did look like branches were about to fall whenever I walked past.
“I tried to avoid walking directly under it.”
Fellow user Victoria Welsh said: “That tree was gorgeous and added so much to that strip of buildings.”