THE beloved pink-blossomed almond tree which brightened Oxford High Street for decades has been cut down due to safety reasons.

The tree had already lost one of its two main branches during the summer heatwave, when a member of staff at The University Church of Saint Mary the Virgin suggested soaring temperatures may have weakened it.

READ AGAIN: Almond tree may have been hit by heatwave or passing bus

Now the 'beloved' specimen was completely removed yesterday after it was deemed 'no longer safe.

Responding to bypassers who noticed the missing tree, the church tweeted last night: "We can confirm that following lengthy consultation with University Parks and after thorough consultation with Oxford City Council we had no option but to remove our beloved almond tree.

"It was no longer safe."


UPDATE - Church has a plan to replace famous tree 

Oxford Mail:

Pic: Jon Lewis

The tree has been photographed by tourists from around the world because of its pink blossom. 

Fire crews were called out last year when the tree's branch fell, and although they could not save what had already been lost, it was thought their efforts had prevented further damage to the tree or church.

Now the remaining part of the tree has gone and the stump fenced off.

Admirers of the tree's blossom have already expressed their dismay at its disappearance.

Oxford primary school teacher Ed Finch tweeted: "That is such a tragedy. It was a beautiful tree and a perfectly spaced punctuation mark in the curve of the high street."