Decaying trees in town centre to be replaced

Flowering cherry trees have long been a feature of the picturesque Boulevard.

Sixteen trees in the Boulevard will be felled and replaced with twice as many. - Credit: Archant

Around half the cherry trees in Weston town centre pose an 'unacceptable' risk to the public and will be removed this spring.

A survey by North Somerset Council tree officers found 16 of the older trees which line the Boulevard are suffering from decay and fungal infections and need to be replaced.

The council will remove the trees after they have flowered this spring and replace them with up to twice as many next year.

Most of the existing cherry trees along the Boulevard were planted in the 1960s and 70s. The council has been monitoring them due to their age and officers have had to remove five over the past five years due to the risk they posed.

The last survey in November revealed 16 trees had significant dieback in the canopy or decay within the centre of their trunks.

Once they have flowered, they will be removed in April, and more trees will be planted in their place in the later winter or early spring next year.

Cherry blossom in the Boulevard.

Cherry blossom in the Boulevard. - Credit: Archant

North Somerset Council's deputy leader Mike Bell, said: "The cherry trees in full bloom have always been one of the most attractive features of the town centre, a focal point for both residents and visitors.

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"As one of the local ward members I appreciate the short-term negative impact the removal of some of the trees will have, but the action we are taking now will be of long-term benefit to Weston.

"Our commitment to replace them with more than are there at the moment will ensure the Boulevard continues to be lined with cherry trees for future generations to enjoy.

"I'd like to thank the Weston Civic Society and the other local members, Cllrs Crockford-Hawley, Payne and Canniford, for their proactive engagement and support in managing this work."

David Agassiz, chairman of Weston Civic Society said: "We will be very sad to see the trees felled but understand the reasons.

"We hope to assist with their replacement as soon as possible as we have done in the past, both in the Boulevard and elsewhere."

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