A FAMOUS Oxford tree has been left with just its stump after one of its biggest branches fell into High Street.

The pink blossom on the almond tree outside the University Church of St Mary the Virgin is always much admired by tourists and other passers-by and seen as a sign that winter is well and truly over.

But it was nearly well and truly over for the tree on Friday when one of its largest branches fell into the road.

Fire crews and Oxford University security guards were on the scene quickly and worked to clear the area.

The church broke the news through its Twitter account on Friday night.

It said: "Today we suffered a great loss.

"The old almond tree, a High Street landmark and very dear to all Oxford residents, had one of its biggest branches fall into the street

"In the end, a healthy, though unattractive stump was the only thing left."

The left branch, which also overhangs into the road, was left unharmed though and the church thanked the emergency services for 'saving the day'.

Admirers of the tree lamented the loss of around half of it.

Roisin Moriarty, playwright and non-executive director of Oxford Pride, said: "That's so sad; everybody loves that tree and gets such joy from seeing it in full bloom