Regular visitors to Brandwood End Cemetery will know that for many years a beautiful Oak tree has been a significant land mark on the main drive. They will also be aware that there has been concern over its ‘healthy and safety’ for the last couple of years and as a result it was severely cut back. It was hoped that this would reduce the weight of the upper area whilst investigations into some suspicious fungi were carried out. Sadly the results are now in….and the news is not good. We have reproduced below the statement that Bereavement Services have posted on their web site.
It is with great sadness that we have to report that the Oak Tree, a well-loved cemetery feature, is suffering from Inonotus dryadeus. This a disease which causes a white rot which attacks the lower roots and base. Unfortunately the rot has spread throughout the tree and it is therefore necessary to fell it. The removal will take place over the next few weeks.
Since we are unable to save the tree we are planning to make good use of the Oak Tree Island and will be developing a Memorial Garden to commemorate World War 1.
The Friends have spoken to the Tree Officer and Bereavement Services staff to discuss some other possible ideas suggested by our members. The trunk area is too rotten to consider carving the remaining trunk into a feature and the spores of the fungus will have contaminated the soil and could pose a risk to any replacement tree at this spot.
However, it appears that its space will be filled by an equally impressive WW1 memorial area. We all look forward to its completion.