Community share memories of beloved landmark beech tree set to be felled

Margaret Todd, front 2nd right, and other Elm Grove Lane residents sit on the roots of the huge beec

Margaret Todd, front 2nd right, and other Elm Grove Lane residents sit on the roots of the huge beech tree, between 200 to 300-years-old, which is to be cut down as a fungus has made it unstable. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

City council officers expect to fell a beloved beech tree which has become unstable through disease next month as the local community mourns its loss.

The towering tree is believed to have stood at Elm Grove Lane for more than two centuries, and generations have used it as a landmark and bespoke playground throughout that time.

Last autumn a fatal fungus was discovered taking hold in its roots, and it could topple at any moment in high winds.

While the trunk survived the battering from Storm Doris last month, officers have no option but to bring it down.

The roots, along with about fifteen foot of the trunk just above a natural sculpture of a face, will remain after the tree is felled.

Norwich City Council will be planting a variety of tulip tree nearby which won't be affected by the fungus.

Some local residents are interested in commemorating the with a bench and some wildlife features, as well as being able to take away small 'mementoes' of the tree itself.

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While it has been impossible to date the age of the tree precisely, that will be known once it has come down.

Resident Margaret Todd is inviting people to send in pictures and memories to commemorate the landmark.

She said: 'It is hard to get the scale of it unless you see it and how it dominates the street. It is a very impressive tree and the roots are huge. It has been a magical tree for kids for generations.

'The fungus was discovered in the autumn when they did a scan and found it growing around the roots. It had progressed quite a lot and undermined the stability of the tree. It is very sad.

'They were hoping to have taken it down by now so they could plant a replacement nearby, but when Storm Doris came along that delayed it, so we haven't got a date.

'People's first reaction was to save the tree. We have been through all that with the council and we know it is not really feasible. If there is a big wind it is very dangerous - one of our residents was narrowly missed when a branch came down recently.

'We know realistically it can't be saved.'

To contribute to the memories, contact or 47 Elm Grove Lane.