Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton council workers paint tree pink after felling error

Diana Freeman and felled tree
Image caption Resident Diana Freeman said the tree produced "beautiful pink blossom"

Council workers who mistakenly cut down a tree in a residential Luton street have now painted the stump pink for "health and safety reasons".

The tree, thought to have stood in Riddy Lane for 35 years, and which usually bears pink blossom, was just meant to have a dead branch removed.

Luton Borough Council said the work order had been "misinterpreted".

A council spokeswoman said the tree had been painted "to prevent slip, trips and falls".

Resident Diana Freeman said she had lived in the road for 22 years and each spring it could be relied upon to produce "loads of beautiful pink blossom".

'Isolated incident'

She said she phoned the council a couple of months ago to report one of the branches looked as though it had died.

"I thought they would just lop a little bit off," she said.

"I wish I hadn't mentioned it now, it was gorgeous, there was nothing wrong with it."

Image caption The tree is thought to have stood in Riddy Lane for 35 years

She said she was out when two men with chainsaws arrived, but a neighbour rushed out to try and stop the felling.

"He said that the council tree surgeons were adamant it had to be cut down," she said.

She was astonished that pink blossom had now been replaced by pink paint to stop people falling over it.

"They must be joking, we thought it was to stop it sprouting again," she said.

The council said it would replace the tree in the autumn.

"This was an isolated incident and we are not aware of any other mistakes of this nature," the authority said in a statement.

"All felled trees have the stump retained at approximately 1m high and the top painted with a fluorescent colour until they are removed.

"This is for health and safety reasons to prevent slip, trips and falls."

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