Residents are furious after blossoming trees were hacked down by the council – but others are glad to see them go.
Half a dozen cherry blossoms have already been chopped down on the north side of Braehead Road, Linlithgow, but the remainder will go in the next few days and replaced by ten birch trees.
The sight of the trees being axed on Wednesday was met with anger from some but other neighbours had complained about the trees and the impact of overhanging branches, as well as spreading roots.
Sharon Sneddon, who looks on to the trees, said: “I was absolutely shocked that someone could chop these down.
“I can take everybody’s views into consideration but the problem was our views weren’t. I knew absolutely nothing about it. It’s just a shame, it’s such a beautiful street.”
Neighbour Heather Garnett added: “The street will never look the same again. It’s very sad. There is defintely nests in the trees and I wonder if that has been taken into consideration?”
Elizabeth Callaghan, a professional gardener who lives on the north side of the road, said: “There was very little consultation, we had one letter saying ‘did we want 50 per cent of the trees taken down and the rest taken out in a few years’ time’ or ‘the whole lot taken out’? I clearly stated that I didn’t want any taken out because to me there was no problems with them at all.”
West Lothian Council said an assessment of trees was carried out by trained tree inspectors.
A spokesperson said a consultation took place with residents on the north side as to whether they wanted all the trees replaced or half of them. The result was close and the decision was taken to replace them.
They added that the decision to remove the 15 cherries and hawthorn trees “was not taken lightly” and was based around “age, condition and suitability and not on the basis that they were causing a nuisance.”