Close to 20 mature trees, up to 40m tall, had to be felled at one of Cork City’s most popular parks.
Cork City Council said the trees at Fitzgerald’s Park had to be cut down as they were a health and safety risk.
The trees, a mixture of broadleaf and deciduous, were near the main gate and along the riverbank.
Dave Reilly, an amateur photographer in Shandon, who has been working on a project on trees in Cork, was aghast at the move.
“I am at the park a lot taking photographs of trees through the seasons. I was just shocked when I saw these particular trees had been knocked.
“Then I heard the chainsaw and grinders and just saw more of these incredible majestic trees being knocked down.
“I was told by the contractors that they were being moved for aesthetic reasons. I really hope they weren’t as they were such substantial trees,” he said.
A spokesman for the council said a survey on the trees had been carried out by an independent arborologist and he said the trees were “decaying and rotting and were structurally unsound”.
“Up to 50% of the trees’ limbs had died away,” he said. “However, we can assure people that every single one of them will all be replaced with mature trees.”
Mixed hedging has also been removed from the area of the park close to Sunday’s Well Tennis Club, as well as overgrown shrubbery.
Meanwhile, National Tree Week takes place next week. Any schools or associations who would like native tree saplings for planting can contact Cork County Council.
“The trees will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Persons interested in making a request for school, community or association, can make contact with Cork County Council on 021 4276891 or 021 4285298,” a spokesman said.
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