Tree in St Albans churchyard to be reduced due to disease

PUBLISHED: 18:49 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:49 14 November 2017

The horse chestnut tree. Photo: REVD BECKY LEACH

The horse chestnut tree. Photo: REVD BECKY LEACH

Archant

A “landmark” tree in a St Albans churchyard is to be shortened due to a life-threatening cocktail of diseases.

The horse chestnut has stood in St Stephen’s churchyard on Watling Street for 230 years.

But after being pollarded in the 1970s it has been infected by rot and fungus, so the diseased timber will be removed, and the tree’s height reduced.

St Stephen’s Environment Group member Rachel Johnston said: “As Christians we are called to be stewards of God’s creation, and we are aware everyone in the local community will be as concerned about the churchyard and the horse-chestnut tree as we are.

“We know all living things must die one day, but we hope that this work will mean that for the tree this time is still years in the future.”

The tree, which was first planted on Tuesday, November 22, 1785, is situated on the south side, close to the street.

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CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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