WHEN Dublin city bosses started removing trees to allow a major refurbishment of the capital's main thoroughfare five years ago, such was the public outrage that some Green Party TDs chained themselves to the trunks to stop further carnage.
But yesterday it emerged that the council's decision was correct, after O'Connell Street's landscaping won a merit award for the "outstanding" tree planting at the annual Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland.
The judges noted that 27 boxed lime trees bordered a new plaza while eight weeping birch trees gave a "sense of movement even in the gentlest breeze".
And it will be a long-lived legacy, as the trees will last 200 years. The outcry back in 2002 surrounded the council's decision to remove 100-year-old London Plane trees, in order to create a streetscape to rival Paris' Champs Elysee.
SAP Landscapes was the overall winner this year, for the roof garden at SAS Radisson in Dublin 8.