MELKSHAM Without Parish Council undertook essential work on an oak tree at the Bowerhill Sports Field over the weekend, for health and safety reasons.
The parish council reports, “Following investigations from an independent tree inspector, as the tree trunk was hollow, it was identified that the decay was caused by Pseudoinonotus dryadeus (Eiffel Tower fungus).
“The parish council’s original plan was to reduce the overall weight and crown spread by around 25% to reduce the sail factor and increase its stability, whilst retaining the tree in a reasonable shape.
“Unfortunately, when the council’s contractors undertook their risk assessment on site, it was deemed too dangerous to undergo the planned works due to the tree’s stability, with the parish council cordoning off the area around the tree for public safety.
“Due to the heavy use of the playing field and public footpath, as well as the adjacent building, and restricting the usage of football pitches, it was necessary to fell the oak tree to a 10m monolith, which will provide a habitat to gradually decay for the benefit of the local wildlife.
“Prior to the scheduled tree works, the parish council undertook a bat survey on the tree, with the officer from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust on site when the works commenced.
“Timber has been chipped on site so the wood chippings can be used as mulch for the shrub beds around the car park and the 200+ trees that have been planted on the sports field boundary over the last few years. The chippings are really good for mulching as they return nutrients to the soil, retain moisture and suppress weeds.
“In 2011, an oak tree was planted to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee from an acorn that was from a Royal Palace, and it would be fitting to plant a replacement tree for this one in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.”
Photos: Linda De Santiz.
Diseased trees to be felled in Bowerhill green space
FOLLOWING a recent survey on Wiltshire Council’s ash trees, a number of trees were identified in the Hornchurch Road public open space area as requiring immediate removal due to ash die back. Those trees most affected in the area will be removed within the next 2 to 4 weeks during the first tranche of works, with the other trees identified to be removed within 4 to 6 months.
Ash dieback is a fungus that can affect ash trees of all ages.
Melksham Without Parish Council adds, “Other trees identified in the survey will be resurveyed next year, however, statistically, it’s unlikely that they will all survive. They will all be managed appropriately as it’s hoped some might offer some resilience and perhaps provide a seed bank.
“Some will be removed within the next 2 to 4 weeks, others are likely to be removed within 4 to 6 months or resurveyed next year.”