RESIDENTS are angry after a tree was destroyed without permission and others were chopped back.

People on Portland say the island has very few trees and they have been left upset by the damage.

A tree in Wakeham at Easton was due to be pruned after one resident had feared that it could cause damage to house windows in high winds.

Dorset County Council then commissioned a contractor to undertake the work.

Workmen pruned the tree but then chopped down another one further along the road and hacked back others.

The tree which was cut down stood outside Carol Pattison’s house and she said: “I opened my front door to say goodbye to a friend and went: ‘Oh, where’s the tree gone?’ “There was a man working down the road, but I’m disabled so I couldn’t go and ask him what he was doing.

“They have hacked the trees. They look disgusting now.”

Mrs Pattison said: “When the man came back to cut out the roots, I asked him why he had done it and he said because the tree was dead.

“That was rubbish as it was in full bloom.

“It’s alright the council saying they are sorry, but it’s a conservation area.

“I’m more upset then anything, there’s not many trees on Portland.

“It’s such a shame.”

Wakeham resident John Wray said: “It was a very small tree.

“They cut it down in full bloom and dug the root out.”

He added: “Once you’ve cut it down, you can’t replace it. It’s sacrilege and if we did it, we would be up in court and fined.

“It’s bureaucracy gone mad.”

Dorset County Council admitted the tree was removed without proper consent and apologised to residents.

A spokesman for the council said: “After the dead wood was removed from one particular tree there was not very much left and the team took the on-the-spot decision to fell it. Regrettably, this was done without the proper permission and we apologise for this misunderstanding.”

The council said it is now working with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council to replace the lost tree and plant six new trees in the area.