Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Another loved tree bites the dust . .

 . . . but this time its not an elm with  dreaded elm disease but an apparently healthy ilex oak next to the Pavilion North Gate. Most of the trees in the Pavilion Gardens have preservation orders on them and this tree, although technically just outside the grounds, made an equally important contribution to the landscape. It also provided an attractive year-round background to the William IV statue nearby which will now tend to merge with the similar coloured background of the North Gate.

I cannot find a tree application on the Council's website and have contacted the arboricultural department for further information.


  1. Prompt reply from Rob Greenland, Arboricultural Manager:-

    Thank you for your enquiry. The tree had several large fungal brackets of Ganoderma adspersum evident since 2004 and this has been monitored over that period. I attach the brief to the Ward Councillors in that this might be of interest. I am assuming you are referring to a Tree Preservation Order application to fell in your enquiry. TPOs are placed by the Local Authority on privately owned trees. Local authorities are exempt as it would serve no purpose to make application to ourselves and give ourselves permission.

    Dear Councillors

    You may recall that we advised earlier that two mature trees in the city centre that have succumbed to disease are to be felled by our Arboricultural team.

    The first, an elm, situated near to Pavilion Parade, had contracted elm disease and has to be removed to prevent the infection spreading to other elms and to protect the City’s National Collection of Elms, the only significant population of elm surviving in Britain today.

    A second tree, a large Evergreen Oak that has stood adjacent the Royal Pavilion’s North Gate for over 100 years, is now so infected with a fungal wood-decaying disease that the only option is to take it down in the interests of public safety.

    As part of their regular inspection of the city’s trees, the Council’s Arboriculturists have monitored this particular tree for some years after noticing fungal brackets emerging from the trunk. Sadly the time has arrived when it is no longer safe to leave the tree in position.

    The felling works have been delayed while arrangements have been made to remove walling around one tree and to arrange alternatives to the use if the public crossing situated close to the Elm. These arrangements are now complete and works are scheduled to start on the removal of the Elm on Wednesday 6th April 2011 moving to the Oak immediately this element of work is complete.

  2. Some further information from Rob Greenland:-

    Thanks, Health and Safety is of course vitally important to us as a tree falling uncontrolled can have catastrophic consequences affecting both the Council’s status and more importantly the lives of the people involved. To avoid this situation the Council employs specialist Arboriculturists to monitor its tree stock and carry out regular safety audits. The tree concerned was diagnosed with the fungal disease Ganoderma, a prolific soft white rot during 2004 and the emergent fruiting bodies have been monitored by us since. I understand that an independent survey was also purchased, presumably by the Pavilion authorities and this raised the same concerns. The structural integrity of trees with this fungal presence is seriously impaired, with collapse the ultimate fate. In view of the potential ‘target’ zone there has to be a time when such trees are removed in the interest of public safety.

  3. Even if Councillors keep local residents informed in these situations (and I do not know that they do) it is a pity they do not also take it on themselves to forewarn the general public. A notice attached to the tree for a few weeks in advance would do the trick and allow people to get use to the idea of the forthcoming loss of visual amenity.


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