KIRKLEES Council has made more slashing cuts – this time to its own Christmas tree.
Huddersfield’s annual Christmas tree was put up at St George’s Square on Thursday afternoon.
But on Friday morning council workers chopped it down and shredded it.
Receptionists at The Examiner’s town centre office watched in amazement as the 50ft spruce was hacked apart by men with chainsaws and put into a wood chipper.
One said: “It was a beautiful tree – it was much bigger than what we usually get.
“They arrived with it on a wagon on Thursday and put it up.
“We thought they would just be putting the lights on Friday morning. There were about four men working on it, hacking away at the lower branches.
“It looked a bit lop-sided and they just kept going and it seemed to fall over.
“They then just hacked all the branches off, cut it up and put it in a shredder.”
Kirklees Council said workers had noticed the tree was substandard after it was installed and said a replacement was being provided free-of-charge.
A spokeswoman said the gigantic Sitka spruce cost the council £1,900 which included delivery and the hire of a crane.
She added: “The large Christmas tree provided for St George’s Square was found to be damaged shortly after it was erected and it has been removed.
“The damage has been caused during harvesting and the suppliers will be providing a new tree on Sunday, December 9.”
The three week delay means Huddersfield’s showpiece square will be treeless well into the Christmas period and during tonight’s Christmas Lights switch-on at The Piazza.
Meanwhile, dozens of other Christmas trees are set to be installed in villages and high streets across the region.
Batley, Dewsbury and Cleckheaton’s trees are already in place.