A SALE resident has blasted the council after a mature tree on the pavement outside his house was chopped down without warning.

Steve Harrop, of Walton Road, returned home from work last Tuesday evening to find the majestic 73-year-old tree was no longer there.

He said: “I had received no prior communication of any kind from the council that the tree had been earmarked for removal. When I arrived home my beautiful tree, which so wonderfully charted the seasons, had been reduced to a three-foot stump. My property looks bare now.

“By doing as it pleased, the council has poured scorn on our feelings. It should be accountable for the way it executes its duties. In this instance its attitude was appalling.”

Steve contacted Trafford Council the next day and was told the tree, which stood at about 30-feet, had been felled by the tree unit on Tuesday morning.

Steve, aged 49, believed the fate of the tree was sealed when a council vehicle lost its roof light after an over hanging branch knocked it off a few weeks ago.

He said: “Some of the branches leaned over the road but not dangerously so in my opinion. I also think a complaint was made about dripping tree sap.”

Executive councillor Jonathan Coupe said: “We regret that Mr Harrop has been left distressed by the removal of this tree. This was carried out following a number of reports from residents that it was causing a hazard to vehicles.

“Several vehicles had hit the trunk, which was leaning into the highway, and large low branches hanging over the road had caused damage to wagons and vans.

“We always consult with people when there are proposals to remove or replace healthy trees for any reason but, unfortunately, it’s just not practical to inform all residents in an area every time a tree is removed for safety reasons.

“What we will always do is reply to the residents who reported the issue to us to let them know we have responded to their request.”