A CEREMONIAL tree planted by the former Secretary of State in the grounds of Queen Mary’s Hospital has been chopped down and it is feared other memorial shrubs could have been removed.

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust confessed to the works after News Shopper received an anonymous letter about the situation.

The trust said it had removed the trees because they were deemed a "high risk" but it is now hoping to preserve a cutting from the felled Turkey Oak which MP Frank Dobson planted 16 years ago.

A spokesman said: "We did not know about any specialist or memorial trees and are sorry that one had to be taken down.

"A small number of trees have been removed as they were identified as a high risk either to property or people or were affected by developments at the site.

"One of these was the Turkey Oak planted by Frank Dobson in 1998 (the Secretary of State for Health at the time).

"Since being made aware of the Turkey Oak's importance we are investigating if a cutting can be taken from the original oak tree, which is still on site.

"We are now investigating possible areas where memorial shrubs and trees may have been planted and can be preserved."

Do you know of memorial trees planted at Queen Mary’s Hospital? Call the newsdesk on call 01689 885 721.

Oxleas are also keen to hear from anyone with knowledge of memorial trees at the site. Email Denise.Webb@oxleas.nhs.uk