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Veteran oak tree crashes down to the ground - waking neighbours in the early hours

PUBLISHED: 13:22 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:11 09 July 2020

The 300-350-year-old oak tree has toppled over Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

The 300-350-year-old oak tree has toppled over Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

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A veteran oak tree believed to be up to 350 years old has toppled over in Bury St Edmunds to the dismay of the community - but the council will leave as much as possible in place for habitat.

West Suffolk Council, which owns the site, will leave as much of the tree in situ as possible for habitat Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIWest Suffolk Council, which owns the site, will leave as much of the tree in situ as possible for habitat Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

The oak tree is a key feature of the landscape of Ten Acre Field on the Moreton Hall estate and is loved by locals who enjoy using the recreational space, which is managed by West Suffolk Council.

It fell down overnight, with the sound waking some nearby residents in the early hours.

Tree officers said it was likely to be between 300 and 350 years old and had an historic longitudinal wound that may or may not be related to a lightning strike many years ago.

The tree also had a number of decay fungi associated with it, typical of veteran trees.

The oak tree on Ten Acre Field in Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, pictured last year Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIThe oak tree on Ten Acre Field in Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, pictured last year Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

“It unfortunately finally failed due to weakening of the main stem consistent with its age,” they said. “We will stabilise the tree as far as possible, and clear the footpath, but leave as much of it in situ as possible for habitat.”

On the Moreton Hall Voice Facebook group members expressed their sadness at the loss of the tree, with strong feeling expressed that it should be left for “nature to take it”.

Town Mayor Peter Thompson, who is also a district councillor for Moreton Hall, said: “It’s upsetting for everyone the tree has fallen down, but we will do something with it in a positive way, and either way I would like to plant a new one nearby.”

He said the field was a “great resource” for the community as the location of Bury’s junior Parkrun and football matches, and is also popular with dog walkers.

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