Cherry trees to be replaced

11:35am - 09 March 2021

Around half the cherry trees that line the Boulevard in Weston-super-Mare town centre have reached the end of their life expectancy and need to be replaced.

Recent surveys by North Somerset Council tree officers have revealed that 16 of the older trees are suffering from decay and fungal infections and pose an "unacceptable" risk to the public.

As a result, the council will remove these trees after they have flowered this spring and replace them with up to twice as many next year, ensuring cherry trees continue to line the road for decades to come.

Most of the existing cherry trees along the Boulevard were planted in the 1960s and 70s. Due to their age the council has been monitoring the trees over the last five years and during that time has had to remove five of them because of the level of risk they posed.

The last survey of the trees carried out in November showed that 16 of them had either significant dieback in the canopy or sufficient decay within the centre of their trunks to pose an unacceptable risk to the public.

Once they have flowered again, they are due to be removed in April. The soil will then be given time to recover before, subject to utility searches, up to double the number of trees removed will be replanted in the late winter / early spring next year.

"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," said Cllr Mike Bell, the council's deputy leader and councillor for Weston Central ward. 

"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."

"We will be very sad to see the trees felled but understand the reasons," said David Agassiz, chairman of Weston Civic Society. "We hope to assist with their replacement as soon as possible as we have done in the past, both in the Boulevard and elsewhere."