Anger over removal of the cherry trees

editorial image

The council has come under fire over the removal of the cherry trees outside the Mechanics’ Hall (writes Shona Beaton).

Prior to the trees being removed the Floral Art Club, who planted the trees in the early 1970s, contacted the council to ensure that they were informed that it was happening.

The Floral Art Club claims it was sent a letter informing members that they would be given notice prior to the trees being felled. Unfortunately this did not end up being the case, leaving members of the club not only sad but furious.

Marge Drever, a founding member of the Floral Art Club who was there when the trees were planted, said: “We were all very sad when it happened. Everybody loved these trees.” I only heard about it when my friend phoned and told me that the trees were gone.

“We were given no indication that this was going to happen.”

Kath Low, the press secretary for the Floral Art Club was joined by committee member Anne Jackson and Marge in saying: “I would have been around spring last year that the secretary of our club received a letter from the council informing her that we would be informed of the removal of the trees.

“Between receiving that letter and the trees being removed we received no more contact from the council.

“We had a committee meeting a week after the trees were removed, which gave the council a week to get in contact with us. At the meeting we decided that we would contact them.

“When we contacted them we had to organise Bruce Brymer go to the cemetery to pick them up because they had already been tipped. It looked like they had just taken them and dumped them with the waste at the cemetery.

“Bruce is going to hold onto the wood for us until we can decided what we are going to use it for, so that we can be reminded of the trees for many years to come.

“They said that they were damaging the paving stones but we did not see any damage when we went down and had a look.

“Someone said that the trees left a mess when the leaves fell but we think it looked lovely.

“It was bonny seeing the blossom lying about. People noticed the trees when they came into the town and the colours stood out.

“We would like to be involved when the council decide to replant at the hall but we have not heard anything from them about that but we do not feel that we should be forgotten about and shoved aside.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “As part of plans for an extensive makeover and refurbishment of the Mechanics’ Institute, two cherry trees were removed recently.

“The trees were reaching the end of their natural lives and the roots were causing damage to the surrounding surfaces.

“The removal of the trees was publicised locally, prior to the work beginning.

“We were happy to allow the Floral Art Club members to retain the felled trees for purposes of creating a memento.

“Discussions will take place with local interested parties regarding the improvements to the Mechanics’ Institute.”