“It feels like part of the family has gone.” Family devastated after 77-year-old tree cut with ‘no warning’

A family from Salford say they have been left devastated after a 77-year-old tree in the garden of their Grandmother’s home was cut down without any warning. The 25 foot tree was planted back in 1945 by 91-year-old Audrey Wright and her mother de ella in their front garden on Ash Drive in Swinton to commemorate the end of WW2.

ForHousing who manage the property have apologized to the family and say they removed the sycamore tree as it was ‘causing structural damage’ to the garden wall and pavement near Audrey’s home. For housing say that they had spoken to Audrey a month before work was set to begin and on the same day.

The tree which had been tended to by the family for years was found reduced to a stump by Audrey’s daughter Gayle Ramouz on Thursday (May 12). Gayle, 66, went to check up on Audrey who suffers from early onset dementia and is also partially deaf and blind.

The family say they had received no letter or warning from the council or Forhousing who manage the property. Gayle said she was ‘shocked’ to find the tree that had played such a pivotal part in her childhood de ella missing.

Gayle was ‘shocked’ to find the tree gone

She said: “I was shocked because there was just a stump there, all the branches had been cut off. My mum’s mum, planted the tree from saplings from Delamere Forest and they’ve grown to a ridiculous size in 80 odd years. It feels like part of the family has gone.”

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Gayle says that Audrey was at home when the tree was being felled but was none-the-wiser due to her hearing and sight problems, however, she said that Audrey does remember somebody coming to the door to speak to her but she was ‘totally confused’.

Audrey planted the tree with her mum back in 1945
Audrey planted the tree with her mum back in 1945

Gayle said: “She didn’t even know! She wasn’t aware because she can’t see round the corner and she doesn’t go out the house. The bit she can remember is that somebody knocked on the door about the tree , but she didn’t understand and she was totally confused.

The tree was one of many which was planted by Audrey and her mother in the area that year. Nigel Sedman, Group Director of Homes at ForHousing, said: “Last week, ForHousing carried out work to remove a large sycamore tree at Ms Wright’s home as it was causing structural damage to both the garden wall and the pavement near her home de ella.

Audrey with a picture of her mother Elizabeth Anne Valentine
Audrey with a picture of her mother Elizabeth Anne Valentine

“We spoke to Ms Wright around one month before the work was started and again on the day the tree was removed to explain that we needed to take down the tree because of our safety concerns. We are very sorry for the distress this has caused and have apologized to Ms Wright and her family of her.

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“We will continue to work with them so they have full input into plans for a replacement tree.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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