‘Half-dead’ town Christmas tree to be replaced – after jokes it was ‘recycled from 2015’

A town centre’s Christmas tree is being replaced after being deemed “embarrassing” by angry residents who complained about it looking “half-dead”.

The sorry-looking tree, which had been erected in Dudley town centre, quickly became a laughing stock with some even joking that it looked like it had been recycled from seven years earlier.

The local council forked out £5,000 on putting up trees and lights in the town this Christmas, but despite this hefty price tag, the festive centrepiece had wilting branches that draped along the floor, large bare patches, and parts that appeared to be dead and discoloured.

Dudley council agreed to have the tree replaced promptly and said that it was also left “disappointed” by its quality.

Labour Councillor Shaukat Ali and his colleague wrote to Dudley Council’s chief executive officer to ask for something to be done about the disappointing sight.

Sharing pictures of the sad-looking tree to the St Thomas’s Ward Labour Councillors Facebook page, he wrote: “Residents and local people are unhappy about the Christmas tree that has been put up In Dudley High Street.

“Labour councillors from central wards including St Thomas’s, St James’s and Castle & Priory allocated over £5,000 towards the cost of putting up trees and lights in the town however, as with residents, we are not happy about the half-dead tree that has been put up.

“I, together with another colleague, have written to the CEO to express our concerns and have asked for things to be put right.”

Social media users reacted to the tree in the comment section.

One person joked: “They’re saving the environment. They’ve wheeled 2015’s back out.”

Another wrote: “How embarrassing for the town. Looks like they’ve literally brought last year’s back. Disgusting, they should be ashamed of themselves.”

A third wrote: “I can’t believe they’ve actually put this up looking like that! They’ve gone blind on everything!

“Awful and this year we all need a little more happiness. This is just a reminder of how life has been with the cost of living.”

While another resident added: “Well whoever was in charge of signing this off as acceptable needs to be held accountable.

“I’d rather the £5k had gone to a worthy cause supporting people in need or support services that help vulnerable people, instead of these dead trees. PS: I do like Christmas and have no objection for a good quality tree in Dudley.”

Dudley Council said the tree was in the process of being replaced on Thursday (November 17). BirminghamLive reports and social media users said they had already seen the council cutting it down.

An update posted to St Thomas’s Ward Labour Councillors Facebook page confirmed that the tree will be replaced, but that “there are questions that still need answering”.

Cllr Shaz Saleem, cabinet member for highways and public realm, said: “We were very disappointed with the quality of the tree delivered to us in Dudley town centre, shoppers and traders expect much better.

“We don’t see them before they are delivered and then we decorate them once they have been put in place. We have therefore been in touch with the supplier and they have agreed to replace it free of charge.”