RESIDENTS in Prestwich have protested after one of their prized trees was pulled down.

Council engineers removed the specimen on Beaufort Street, they say, for safety reasons.

But resident Dominic Zapaman said: “This is really tragic, in my experience once these trees are lost they are (almost) never replaced.

“This one was not in obvious bad condition. Street trees help purify air from traffic fumes.”

Patsy McMichael, another neighbour, added: “There’s not that many trees left on the estate. I’m fuming.”

But a council spokesman said: “This particular tree had been hit twice by lorries and was leaning.

“In the view of the council’s arboriculturalist this species of tree can suddenly topple over when it’s weakened and was potentially dangerous, therefore we reluctantly agreed for it to be felled.”

The council also supports the City of Trees initiative, an environmental scheme which should see 27,000 planted borough-wide.