Marshalswick oak is chopped down after 400 years

PUBLISHED: 13:02 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 May 2010

Tree experts swoop in to chop off branches before the Marshalwick oak is felled

Tree experts swoop in to chop off branches before the Marshalwick oak is felled

IT stood rooted to the same spot for 400 years, quietly watching generations of Marshalswick folk go about their lives. If trees could talk, the ancient oak which guards The Quadrant shopping centre would have a fair few tales in its repertoire. But on on

IT stood rooted to the same spot for 400 years, quietly watching generations of Marshalswick folk go about their lives.

If trees could talk, the ancient oak which guards The Quadrant shopping centre would have a fair few tales in its repertoire.

But on one fateful morning this week, the venerable oak was unexpectedly given the chop when a team of tree surgeons discovered it was ridden with disease, leaving it completely hollow inside.

It was a sad end to the life of the mighty oak, which had witnessed the community of Marshalwick grow up around it over the last four centuries.

The tree, which bordered The Quadrant car park in Marshalswick, was cut down on Monday morning after the Quadrant Management Company, who own the land, called in a professional company to inspect six trees on the site.

They tested the oak with a resistograph, which evaluates the strength and health of the branches, only to discover the extent of the disease. Because it posed a threat to people using the car park, it was immediately cut down by Bartlett Tree Experts.

Ninety-year-old Edgar Adkins of The Dell in St Albans was at The Quadrant when the tree was felled.

He said he was upset by the loss: "There was no outward sign of any deterioration or rot and it's a shame because it's been there for such a long time."

Mr Adkins rang the district council about the Quadrant trees a year ago and was told that the old oak, which one of the Bartlett tree surgeons estimated to be 400 years old, had a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on it to protect it from being felled.

But a district council spokesperson confirmed that there has never been a TPO on any of the Quadrant trees and added: "Even if there had been a TPO on the oak tree, it would have been removed anyway because it was diseased and could pose a threat to people using the car park."

n If you think a tree should be protected or have a query concerning trees, visit the council's website at www.stalbans.gov.uk or the Bartlett Tree Experts website at www.bartlett.com


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Herts Advertiser