Time is up for the old chestnut say Shepway

Contributed by editor on Feb 14, 2005 - 09:50 AM


A veteran tree that has been the centre point of Hythe High Street for more than 100 years will have to be felled.

The chestnut, which stands in Town Square, is believed to be around 175 years old.

It will be removed by Shepway Council over the next two weeks after the spread of a fungal disease that was first discovered 15 years ago.

“The tree’s strength has been weakened by the spread of the decay and we have had to take the difficult decision to fell it in the interests of public safety,� said Chris McCreedy, the council’s Parks and Recreation Manager.

“We have tried over the years to keep the fungi under control, but have always known that the tree was on borrowed time. There is no cure, all we could do was to slow down the spread of the disease as much as we could. The result was always inevitable.�

Mr McCreedy said tests carried out by the council had been confirmed by its partners at Kent County Council and by David Rose, head plant pathologist with the Forestry Commission.

The type of decay associated with the fungus attacks the root structure. The wood inside the tree looses its strength and could fail without warning at the base.

Mr McCreedy said it was hoped that a replacement tree could be provided.