Grief in community as “magical” giant beech tree set to be felled

The beech tree in Elm Grove due to be felled. Picture: Margaret Todd

The beech tree in Elm Grove due to be felled. Picture: Margaret Todd - Credit: Archant

An imposing beech tree dating back at least two centuries is set to be felled after Norwich City Council finish the clean up operation in the wake of Storm Doris.

The tree has been a landmark in Elm Grove Lane, north Norwich, for decades, and is immensely popular with local children but last autumn a fatal fungus was discovered taking hold in its roots.

It means the vast tree could topple at any moment in high winds.

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.

The city council will be planting a variety of Tulip tree nearby which won't be affected by the fungus.

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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.

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

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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.

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