MEMBERS of public stopped to watch as an enormous tree was felled in central Oxford this afternoon.

The poplar had grown for decades over the River Thames next to Osney Bridge on Botley Road.

It had reached a height of some 50ft, but today it had to be cut down.

The Oxford Times:

A file photo of the poplar tree leaning over the river from Google Maps Street View.

The team from Chipping Norton-based Treetech, who were hired to do the job by Oxford City Council, explained that the tree had been slowly rotting from the inside.

One of the three trunks was so badly affected it had been hollowed out by decay, and the whole plant had been leaning dangerously over the river.

Although the whole thing was covered in green leaves, a member of the team revealed that this was entirely ivy which grown up the outside of the dying trunks.

The operation today began shortly after 1pm and once the trunks were cut down they were hauled out of the river by a crane and shredded on site.