A DEVASTATED혻mum returned home from holiday to find a beloved tree in her front garden had been torn down – and she has been handed the bill to clear up the mess.
Carly Yates, 29, burst into tears when she saw a stump was all that remained of a tree which has been in her family’s garden for three generations.
The mum-of-one has lived in the house in Salford, Greater Manchester, since 2012, and her gran still tends to the flower beds, having lived there herself since 1990.
The childminder says housing agency chopped the tree down without telling the family of their intentions, and also left them with a 짙440 clean-up bill.
Both Carly and her grandmother, Margaret, say that the garden was churned up and the flower bed was trampled and to make matters worse, they have been quoted 짙750 to have the stump removed.
The pair say they were originally told the tree was cut down because it was diseased but City West Housing Trust now say it was overgrown.
Margaret said: “Gardening is my passion. The rockery took so long to get it how I wanted. The plants in there have been growing for about 30 years.
“The garden had so many happy memories. Now it looks like a digger has gone at it.
“I can’t explain. I’m just so hurt by it. They’ve just gone into somebody’s property and vandalised it. That’s what’s really hurt me.
“There was nothing wrong at all with that tree. It’s broken my heart.”
Carly said: “The garden had such a strong meaning for the family.
“Nan was always in the garden. Me and my brother used to say she loved it more than us.
“I’d just been away for a holiday for a week, and as soon as I came back home I thought, ‘Where’s the tree gone?’
“There was just an ugly stump left of our tree. It had been blooming. There was nothing wrong with that tree.
“The privets were crushed and the flower beds were trampled where they’d been working, with mess left everywhere.
“That flower bed has been there for 25 years. One of the plants in there must have been as old as me – I have memories of it as a child. The Yorkshire Terrier Mylo used to love playing around the garden.
“I’ve been crying about it. It’s really got to me. My Nan has been over to see it and she’s really upset and angry too.”
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Margaret was forced to leave the property in 2012 due to health issues and the family were so attached to it that Carly took over the contract.
Now she혻has undergone weeks of turmoil trying to get answers from City West over why they chopped the tree down.
Carly said: “I called City West, and they told me if there is a diseased tree then it must be cut down within 24 hours. I’d had no notice of this whatsoever. No phone call, no emails or letters.
“When I said that no one had even tried to contact me to tell me that it needed to be cut down, and no paperwork sent out to sign or anything, they said they didn’t need to do that.
“That doesn’t seem right, does it?”
“I’ve now been told by City West that the tree actually wasn’t diseased and that it was cut down because it was overgrown and could have fallen and injured people.”
Carly said of the costs she must now address: "They've not taken any responsibility. The most they said they would do was to come and plant some new grass seeds.
"I had to pay 짙440 out of my own pocket to get the garden beds and privets sorted out, because I couldn't bear to have it in such a mess.
"I was told to get a quote for getting the stump removed, as it had just been left and not removed properly, but that they wouldn't pay it.
"Now that I've had to pay out for the garden, that's over half of my monthly salary gone. I wouldn't be able to manage if it weren't for the support of my family.
"I have sent the invoices for the tidy job and the 짙750 quote for the tree stump removal to City West, even though they've said they won't pay.
"We've just been left with this mess. It's heart breaking. We're absolutely distraught."
Martin Hague, assistant director of neighbourhoods at City West Housing Trust, said: "City West is aware of Ms Yates' concerns. We are working with her to come to an agreeable solution."
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