Tree Removal: BEST Object, Ministry Apologise

August 25, 2014

[Updated: Ministry of Public Works issue an apology and explanation concerning the removal of the tree]

BEST released the photos below which they said offer confirmation that the “mature poinciana behind the old Magistrates Court building on Reid and Parliament Streets was cut down over the weekend.”

Last week, the environmental group issued a statement saying they took note of the notice that the tree was to be cut down, saying: “One by one the trees that keep Bermuda from being totally urban are being picked off. This has to stop. These actions, purportedly being made on our behalf but excluding us from the process cannot continue.”

A statement from BEST said, “Despite assurances from Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin and senior civil servants in the Public Works and Parks Departments that there would be no tree removal, only pruning, it is extremely discomforting to experience such a reversal in actions.

“The Minister has already reacted rather sharply to the level of attention we have given the trees at this location and tree removal in general. We assert that this kind of precipitous tree-removal is not in the best interest of fostering trust between decision-makers and the public.

“For us, the lost tree represents a breakdown in communication somewhere within Government, and reinforces a high level of vigilance on the part of BEST and its supporters.

“With that in mind, we would add a fifth step to our previous list for the government: That the government plan and announce an aggressive plan of action for re-forestation on the Island.”

Photos provided by BEST:


Best (2)

Best (1)

Update 8.06pm: The Ministry of Public Works said they “would like to issue an apology and an explanation concerning the Department of Parks removal of the Poinciana tree at the Old Magistrates’ Court building.”

A spokesperson said, “The Department of Parks was contacted by the Buildings section approximately two months ago with a request to assist with pruning trees at the Workforce Development Office due to damage caused by the trees’ proximity to the buildings, and the resulting blockage of the drains, leaking of the roof, and falling in of the interior ceiling.

“The work was scheduled for Sunday, August 24th 2014. At a final meeting held on 22nd August, 2014, those responsible for the operation discussed what works would be required. At that time they decided to prune the Kapok tree as well as remove the Poinciana, due to the difficulties with its location and the rot found in the tree.

“Unfortunately, this information was not shared with the Senior Superintendent or the Director, hence, they were unable to advise the Minister, the Hon. Patricia J. Gordon-Pamplin JP MP, of the impending decision.

“As a result, on the same day when BEST requested information on the intent of the department, the Minister gave the information that was at hand.”

The Minister said: “Had we been previously advised that the Poinciana was in that condition, we would have informed the public regarding the removal of the tree as we are acutely aware of the sensitivities regarding the removal of trees within the city limits.”

The Minister continued: “The Department of Parks is planning to replace the Poinciana, preferably with a Jacaranda, which will be situated further away from the buildings.”

“The Ministry has also undertaken to improve its communication protocols in these matters,” a spokesperson added.

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (41)

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  1. Raymond Ray says:

    I imagine the tree has been cut down to make some more room for vehicles to be eventually parked in that area :-( The Mayor and associates must go a.s.a.p.

    • Back T. School says:

      Okay, I am awake now. If we are unable to share correct information about trees……. Let us pray.

    • Rhonda says:

      Or the OBA…. had to lie to us again… overtime offered, but workers didn’t want to work… changing gp plates for safety reasons…Lamb Foggo. .. nothing to do with me… this a pattern…

  2. Family Man says:

    We had to deceive you? Again?

  3. Unbelievable says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing why that tree was cut down.

  4. Terry says:

    This is completely asinine.


    Park somewhere else.

    I thought this was Government property. Set me straight.

    Corporation may maintain it but this is sad.

    Outerbridge needs to be outta there along with a few others.

    Next he will have police guards at the Supreme Court replaced with Manuel and Shkir with shovels…………………..

    I need a rum.

  5. think says:

    Best b**** for the sake of it at most times. By the looks of the picture that tree looks like its pushing out the well. God forbid someone for being proactive now before the wall collapse and possible injure or kills someone.

    • micro says:

      Would be nice if some of that concern for safety could be focused on the poor dangerous state of the city’s roads.

  6. Somerset says:

    It’s not Best’s tree nor is it on Best’s property. If there was a good enough reason for it to go, so be it. Some people get bent out of shape by a decision made about a tree, when it has nothing to do with them. I’m pretty sure it will be replaced with a tree off a more suitable species for that location.

    • Anon says:

      Sorry but I completely disagree with you. Bermuda is lucky to have a group like BEST to look out after the enviromnment so there will be something left for the next generation

  7. Cardine Alice says:

    Sad. Our landlord has a no tree policy and indescrimanently has his “landscapers” prune (hack limbs off) trees and cut down any trees. They never recover. He has reduced beautiful lush grounds to bare lawn with a concrete property. Thus removing what make Bermuda beautiful, and reducing it to low maintenance scorched suburbia.

    My house back home has listed trees and a listed wisteria. Priceless.

  8. swing voter says:

    The more trees we destroy, the less rainfall we enjoy. Its a scientific fact. what a waste of a beautiful specimen.

  9. We Are Not Amused! says:

    I’d like to prune the CoH!

    (( for prune read cut down. ))

  10. Rasheed says:

    Get rid of that PLP/COH ASAP,before they do more damage.

  11. Coffee says:

    By the cutting down an removing that tree , the COH has symbolically got rid of the OBA from its everyday city business .

    • We Are Not Amused! says:

      when I wash out the dregs from my coffee pot I always thinks of you getting flushed down the drain!

      • Coffee says:

        If I’m living freely in your everyday thoughts than I’ll always be one up on you ! So I thank you for allowing me that priceless space …. Blessings .

    • Jon says:


  12. LX says:

    Since they cut this tree down, i just hope they plant another in the same area.

  13. ABC says:

    coh been doin a pack for years

    like de songs goes knock down paradise 2 built parkin lots

    someone needs to take over coh period tired of them

  14. Ananda Hill says:

    If a replacement tree will be re-planted, its not that big of a deal people. Trees come and go, it is sad but true. We should make sure that we do our part by planting trees ourselves.

    Also it would make more sense if we were to get into the habit of planting useful trees and vegetation within the city… rather than random useless ones… just a thought.

  15. Loren says:

    A small peek into the high level quality communications that exist within the government.

  16. Confused says:

    The Ministry of Works cut down the tree. The minister apologizes and the haters blame the CoH. Help me understand that. The CoH is not even mentioned in the story.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      I mentioned how I feel about the members of C. o. H. and I stick to it…regardless of who is responsible for the falling of the tree, it should not have happened period :-(

  17. Maximus says:

    Can somebody please clarify. The Poinciana tree in this photo HAS NO COH INVOLVEMENT WHATSOEVER. It’s quite easy to bash the COH presently, but the fact is, the Magistrates Court tree is not the responsibility of the COH.

  18. Chris Famous says:

    If this was COH then the Minister would not be involved…

    Facts people

    • Raymond Ray says:

      Just a wee bit curious in knowing just how it’s possible for the Ministry to order the falling of this tree without the Corp. of Hamilton having known anything about it?

  19. #bermylivin says:

     Yes, I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees, which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please. But I’m also in charge of the brown Bar-ba-loots, who played in the shade in their Bar-ba-loot suits and happily lived eating truffula fruits. Now, thanks to your hacking my trees to the ground, there’s not enough truffula fruit to go ’round!

  20. Concerned Citizen says:

    OBA paid bloggers in full effect…..and not the bright ones either! Smh! Pamplin is caught out either via lying again OR just gross incompetence, yet all you cheaply paid bloggers blame the COH!???? Haha “some folk do not know how to read”……

    • JH says:

      Concerned: Unlike the PLP, the OBA doesn’t need paid bloggers.

      Although this is upsetting, I notice that the OBA has apologized over this screw up.

      That’s something PLP never did.

  21. Delaey says:

    But it’s a casurina you byes. Therefore temporary measure – put in a fast growing tree in a place where there should be a tree, until you are ready to replace it with a permanent solution like a cedar, an olive wood or some other slow growing native or until the temoprary solution becomes a problem now or it is forseen that it soon will do by being too big, potentially dangerous to life/property in a hurricane, so you cut it now when control is easier, it’s cheaper and less dangerous.

    Please save your fights for the real important things of which there are many needing your full attention. This particular tree, which appears to me to be located within the grounds of the House of Assemble, and is small beer: virtually no bees and hardly any birds will suffer its loss. We on the other hand may now hope to see in years to come, a thriving native there.

    OK, watch this spot. But there are other equally deserving spots needing thought, attention, action…

    • Delaey says:

      Oh, and lots of native trees attract native birds. Imagine having red birds and blue birds on the Hill.

  22. DUHHHH says:

    Bunch of idiot morons. Trees take hundred years to grow. They contribute to our oxygen to LET US LIVE.

    yeah sure, let’s cut them all down! nothing bad will happen!!!!!!!!!!! they will just maaaagically grow back right?

    PLP cut down acres and acres of trees and protected areas in its reign.


  23. Just a matter of time says:

    What does this have to do with the COH or PLP?? This was purely action done by the Ministry of Public Works! Read the facts first people.

  24. watchman says:

    I’m with Ananda Hill why not plant fruit trees in town. We can let the homeless and less fortunate have the fruit for free. Or, government can sell the fruit at low cost to pay for upkeep. One step closer to self sustainability.

    • Cloud says:

      @watchman that’s so smart! Bermuda is starting to require innovation, sustainability, compassion, and most of all *co-operation*, which many people lack IMO.

  25. Just a matter of time says:

    @JH. The OBA DOES have paid bloggers. Stephen DaCosta from the Jetgate scandal admitted to that in his article. That was part of the $350K spent.

  26. Bored by ignorance says:

    Our destruction of our environment is in effect reducing our chances of survival. When the world is struggling to find food or oxygen levels vastly reduced we will find that whatever our reasons for destroying our environment it will seem unjustifiable. We are a selfish species. Our intelligence and ability to advance modern society being our own worse enemy

  27. Rhonnie aka Blue Familiar says:

    Okay, saying you’re ‘pruning’ when you’re cutting down is deceptive, but from the first look at one of the photos it looked like they had good reason to remove it.

    No point keeping a diseased or damaged tree. It can easily be replaced by another. Perhaps in a better location.

  28. This appears to be a contemptuous act, the ype of thing constituency object to with fervence now,it does seem to be sooo blatent my first thought is;-is this a distraction,a magicians tool to draw attention to what else is going on.It also appears to be misdry imposing mizery.This was a beauty that is needed more of in town.An insurance company accross from little venice is doing a good job of making Hamilton beautiful,this is what is needed!This is an imposition of misery…the removing of beauty will not be tolerated…you suck tree killer!

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