RED-FACED council chiefs have been forced to replace the new crab apple trees on Broad Street after discovering they had been supplied with the wrong species.
The long-running saga over the trees descended into farce on Monday (April 25) when the 18 trees, which were only planted last month, were removed by contractors.
Worcestershire County Council were forced to act after they were told by their suppliers the wrong species of tree for the location.
Contractors removed the ‘wrong’ trees and replaced them with the correct species of Malus Trilobata (crab apple) tree.
It’s the latest twist to an increasingly bizarre saga which appeared to come to an end when the London Plane trees were given the chop in March after their roots began to force up block paving which created a tripping hazard for pedestrians.
The controversial decision to fell the iconic trees was made last year by Worcestershire County Council following a public consultation.
However, despite asking the public for their views, campaigners led by local resident Shirley Agg branded the consultation a ‘complete farce’.
At the time, council chiefs claimed the crab apple tree replacements would need less maintenance compared to their predecessors and will save tax payers money.
Pershore town councillor Coun David Annis criticised the move and said: “The whole sad saga of the Broad Street trees was never necessary. A compilation of wasted time, money and breath.
“Many of the people in Pershore will be able to relate this to their grandchildren by the winter’s fireside in years to come.
Coun Val Wood, who represents Pershore on Wychavon District Council, told the Observer: “Having just spoken to county highways apparently the wrong variety of malus was sent to the nursery by their suppliers although with the right label.
“It wasn’t until they came into leaf that this was realised.
“Since then the nursery have managed to find 18 trees of equal height of the correct variety Malus Trilobata which is very small fruiting occasionally if ever and only after a very hot summer.
“Work to replace the trees was done in one day and I think they’ve done a really good job,” she added.
A Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said: “The trees on Broad Street in Pershore have been replaced today in order to put right a supplier error.
“Unfortunately the supplier provided the wrong species of tree for planting and this only recently became apparent once the leaves began to appear.
“As soon as we were made aware of the mistake the trees were replaced to make sure that we have the best trees for the town centre.
“All of the costs associated with planting and replanting are being paid by the supplier,” the spokesperson added.
The county council confirmed the removed trees were returned to the supplier