A LANDMARK tree in Leamington will be removed due to a fungal disease exacerbating its already steady decline.
Warwick District Council will be removing a prominent cedar tree from Jephson Gardens in the coming weeks.
The tree, which stands on the junction of Newbold Terrace East and Willes Road, is suffering from honey fungus and has been declining for a number of years. Despite the efforts of the council’s Green Spaces team helping to prolong its life, last season’s heatwave has accelerated the spread of the disease and it now needs to be felled.
Councillor and Leamington Society member Sidney Syson, who hosts regular tree walks around Jephson Gardens, said: “The cedar could be regarded as one of the ‘elder statesmen’ of the gardens. It will have been planted more than 100 years ago as one of the original trees, but sadly, despite the great care given by the Council’s Green Spaces Team, due to a combination of disease and climate change it has now reached the end of its natural life.”
Clarendon Ward councillor, Jonathan Nicholls, added: “This is a sad day, we know the tree will be sorely missed by local people.
“Nevertheless, as custodians of the district’s parks and open spaces, the council has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the community which, given its location at a busy road junction and public footpaths, will require its removal.
“I am grateful to the Green Spaces team and colleagues from Warwickshire County Council (WCC) for the work they do to preserve and maintain our wonderful collection of mature trees, which are such an asset to our town.”
WCC environment spokesman Coun Alan Rhead also expressed regret ‘ such a prominent landmark’ had reached the ‘end of its life’.
It is likely the tree will be felled in early February. A replacement cedar was planted nearby a number of years ago and is establishing well.
There are also plans to plant several other trees in the gardens during the current planting season.