Tree Team Work

Posted: March 11, 2010 at 09:43 am Author: Ben Jones

Along with planting this time of year, we also remove trees deemed to be hazardous. Although it is always sad to see these large trees come down, it is part of the ongoing management cycle of any collection.

If Westonbirt was managed from the point of view of preservation, there would be nothing left in the years to come. Sad as it is to remove these large, beautiful trees, it is only part of a wider picture. Timber generated from the hazardous tree removals will be utilised in a number of ways, from Sculptree, second Sunday wood sales, firewood that you can buy at our plant centre to projects such as the Silk Wood barn. The tree we dismantled is a Monterey Pine, Pinus radiata, (introduced by David Douglas in the mid 19th century). This tree was condemned in the hazardous tree inspections in the autumn. The decision was made based on;

• Annual visitor numbers of approx 350,000 – safety of public is paramount.

• The period of time we have known that the tree has had a pathogen called Phaeolus schweinitzii, (a brown rot fungi that degrades the cellulose).

• Known structural defects – large compressed fork, combined with the fact that the stems had previously been cable braced.

As you can hopefully see, the decision to remove these trees is NOT taken lightly. It is always a shame to see them go, but you will be pleasantly surprised, should you visit the site of this tree, off Broad Drive, in a year or two’s time, to see what beautiful plants have been planted to continue the cycle.