Thousands of recently planted trees have died in Gloucester because they were not watered during the drought.
Gloucester City Council announced in February this year that it would plant 12,800 saplings in the following weeks.
The planting was part of the council’s vision to tackle the climate crisis and would provide a “thriving network of sustainably managed trees”.
But now councillors say 95% of the trees have died due to lack of water during the summer heatwave.
The council said in July that it had struggled to employ a tree officer due to the tough jobs market.
The role included checking on the health of trees following concerns from residents.
Councillor Alastair Chambers said: “13,500 trees have been planted which is wonderful, what is not great is that the management of the trees in the first few months was non-existent meaning the trees have suffered in the heat.
“No water management or maintenance has meant that 95% of these trees have died.
“I have had to call the city council out a few times to the trees in Matson as they had started wilting as no water was provided for them and the trees started dying.
“A few of the trees were already dead and had to be replaced and most of the trees were nearly dead but thankfully with me constantly calling and emailing them they came out to water them.
“Sadly, other areas of the city have been less fortunate, I saw 13 newly planted trees in the Westgate area. Out of the 13 trees, only two had survived. This is such a waste of taxpayers money.
“I am all for trees and a better environment so I voted for the trees to be planted. Sadly, that didn’t include park management of the trees.
“When I was in Ukraine, even under a time of war, they had cleaner streets and parks. Our managing director of the city council really needs to step up his game.”
A council spokesperson said the summer was unprecedented in terms of hot weather leading to drought conditions.
They said: “It’s disappointing that this led to the loss of trees in the city and we will be looking to do some replanting where resources allow with a more robust watering/care schedule put in place.”
Credit: Local Democracy Reporter Service/ Carmelo Garcia