Rows of trees in Coulsdon have been cut back by the council - just as their new leaves reached full bloom.

Dozens of mature deciduous trees in Grove Wood Hill, Howard Road, Warwick Road and The Chase have had their branches cut back and some have been left without any leaves at all.

The usually leafy streets were left looking decidedly bare after the municipal workmen had finished.

Although residents said they understood the need to prune trees, the timing has angered some.

Paula Pinnock, from Grove Wood Hill, said: "The leaves have only just come out on the trees and now they have been cut back. Why couldn't this be done during winter when they are bare? This is a lovely road and when the trees are out it's even better. Now it just looks awful."

Mrs Pinnock telephoned the council when she first noticed what was happening. She said she was assured by that the pruning would only affect a few trees.

She added: "I was given the impression it was because a couple of people had complained about them. But more than 20 have been chopped in my road alone."

A council spokesman said: "It is not feasible to carry out such works only in the winter months as there is a constant volume of work throughout the year. The work has been welcomed by the local residents' association and we have had only two complaints from the public."