Moseley Bog Beech Tree a Sad Loss

Wednesday 7th March 2012

Beech Tree at Moseley BogBeech Tree at Moseley Bog

One of the oldest trees in Moseley Bog nature reserve has a severe fungal disease which affects the base of the stem and its root system; this has weakened the trees trunk. Unfortunately the removal of the tree for public safety is inevitable and the tree will be felled on 16 & 17 March 2012.

The Beech tree, located on the boundary with the playing fields, is around 250 years old and stands between 50 and 70 feet tall. After a year of monitoring the trees’ condition, Neil McLean of Midland Arboricultural & Woodland Services Ltd used ‘resistance drilling’ as a method to assess the trees’ internal condition and confirm that the core of the tree was decayed. The fungal fruiting bodies are evidence of the advanced condition of the disease.

The tree will be felled over two days. Once the tree is felled, the timber will be left for habitat or used for green working at the event on the Sunday 25 March, mid-day -4pm.

Francesca Jarvis-Rouse, Moseley Bog project Officer at The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country said “This is a sad time for the trust, as we hoped we might be able to save the tree by fencing the area. However the tree surgeon’s investigation has highlighted the full extent of the decay and this is no longer an option. The tree is a feature of the landscape and its loss will be felt by all, but the safety of visitors to Moseley Bog is paramount so we have no choice but to fell the tree. We are pleased that other local Beech trees have not yet succumbed to fungal attack and we will be putting in measures to protect them into the future. However, to make the best of a bad situation we will be celebrating the life of the tree by holding an event which will include the tree planting of large oak standards, green wood working activities, and a chance to meet the tree surgeon. This is an opportunity to have a better understanding and to keep a little piece of a great tree. The Beech Tree Event will be held at Moseley Bog on 25 March 2012 between midday and 4pm. Please contact Francesca Jarvis Rouse, 0121 454 1199, francesca.j@bbcwildlife.org.uk for more information.

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