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CLOSE CALL: 150-year-old healthy oak tree in Bushey nearly cut down in identity mix-up

 Published on: 9th June 2021   |   By: Lizzie Ellis   |   Category: Uncategorized

A 150-year-old Oak Tree at the top of The Avenue was almost destroyed in error at the start of June after a tree surgeon mistakenly identified the wrong tree to chop down.

Residents noticed that contractors were stripping branches off what seemed to be a perfectly healthy tree on The Avenue and alerted newly elected County Councillor Laurence Brass of the error.

Cllr Laurence Brass acted quickly and arrived on the scene at 8am on June 3 as temporary traffic lights had been installed and work was about to begin to demolish the oak tree. 

Cllr Brass told BusheyNews: “This is a horrendous mistake. The chain saws were about to swing into action and had I not intervened that fine tree would have disappeared within an hour. The tree surgeon has apologised to me and assured me that the branches will grow again and the tree will continue to thrive.”

A spokesperson from Hertfordshire County Council said: “We need to remove a tree which is blocking the pavement on Finch Lane, but unfortunately due to a miscommunication between our highways team and the tree surgeons, some work was mistakenly done to another oak tree further down the road. 

“We’d like to apologise for this mix-up and assure residents that the tree will grow back and that the cost of this work will not be passed on to the council. The work to remove the tree that does need removing will take place at a later date.”

The healthy oak tree was mistaken for a horse chestnut tree 100 yards away in Finch Lane which the council say needs to be felled because of a problem with footpath access.

Hertfordshire County Council Operations Manager, Chris Jackson, has written to Cllr Brass and told him that “what occurred last week was clearly a breakdown in procedure”. 

Attention is now turning to the other tree in Finch Lane and Cllr Brass has obtained what he describes as a “stay of execution” whilst he and other local residents devise a formula to save that tree as well.

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