THIS is the dramatic sight that met shoppers on a miserable Sunday morning but Worcester's High Street will soon have a Sunset Boulevard feel.
Workers from Worcester City Council felled a number of ash trees in the city centre while the rain came down as part of the final enhancement scheme to the main thoroughfare carried out with Worcestershire County Council.
However, the barren view won't remain for long as new ornamental cherry trees are set to be planted in their place tomorrow (Monday) and the chosen Prunus 'Sunset Boulevard' variety is renowned for its attractive spring flowers and stunning autumn leaf colour.
Geoff Poole, tree protection officer at Worcester City Council, said: “The Cherry trees we’ll be planting on Worcester’s High Street are very well suited for a city environment and should look stunning throughout the year.
“It is always sad when any trees need to be felled, but in this case the ash trees we are replacing have totally outgrown their location and were therefore starting to develop defects.”
As well as providing some welcome colour in the heart of the Faithful City, the new trees will require very little maintenance and will be an ideal size for their High Street setting even when fully mature.
The axed ash were said to be out-growing their location and beginning to develop structural defects because of their limited growing space and the work to replace them is expected to take less than a week, with minimal disruption to the public.
Last year, the city council and county council joined forces to make a series of major improvements to the High Street in a bid to give a boost to local businesses in the area which include cafes, restaurants and shops.
Improved lighting was installed, a number of trees were felled to improve the sight-line to the cathedral and the area between Pump Street and the Elgar Statue has been re-paved to give a more uniform, appealing look.