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‘Landmark’ 250-year-old trees in Clissold Park to be pruned back and cut down as fungus eats away at roots

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:04 19 February 2018

The plane trees in question are reported to be up to 250 years old. Picture: @ilovestokeyn16

The plane trees in question are reported to be up to 250 years old. Picture: @ilovestokeyn16

Archant

A decision to prune back and eventually cut down two trees with a combined age of 500 years in Clissold Park has angered environmentalists.

Picture of the 2 ancient plane trees under threatPicture of the 2 ancient plane trees under threat

The plane trees, each about 250 years old, are seen as local landmarks. But town hall bosses say their enormous roots are being eaten away by a fungus, leaving them dangerously unstable.

The news was delivered at Clissold House on Tuesday by Hackney Council arboriculture specialist Thomas Campbell, who said new trees would be grown from cuttings of the two in question.

Park user Richard Crawford told the Gazette he hoped other trees in the park would be better looked after to avoid it happening again.

“The plane trees are a local landmark and will be sorely missed when they are removed,” he said.

“Members of Clissold Park User Group who were present at the meeting asked Mr Campbell whether the older trees in the park could be better looked after in future to avoid a recurrence of such drastic measures.

“They undertook to work with the council to find ways to protect the remaining old trees in the park from unnecessary damage or disease.”

A town hall spokesman said: “Following a public consultation Hackney Council will undertake crown reduction works to safely manage the decline of the two mature London plane trees to the rear of Clissold House.

“Unfortunately both trees are colonised with Meripilus giganteus decay fungi which has compromised the structural integrity of their root plates.

“It is hoped that this work will enable the trees to be retained for as long as is safe to do so for the benefit of all who visit the park.

“Twenty-three replacement trees have been planted in Clissold Park this winter and new trees will also be grown from cuttings taken from the two London plane trees.”

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