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Hacked-down yew tree may have been well over 500 years old - experts.

Byline: NICK MCCARTHY Staff Reporter nick.mccarthy@trinitymirror.com

YEW tree experts have waded into the row about the axing of a 500-year-old tree and have claimed it could have been much older.

The ancient yew may have been planted around the time that Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.

But it was reduced to a tangled stump in the grounds of Uffculme House in Kings Heath after health bosses feared it posed a safety hazard. A survey revealed it was suffering "significant decay" so Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust ordered that it be axed.

Now an expert from the Ancient Yew Group has confirmed that the tree was at least 500 years old and was probably older by a "noticeable margin."

Toby Hindson said: "It is certainly 500 years old, and may exceed that age by a noticeable margin."

And Mr Hindson also said there was hope that it could regrow again if the stump was protected.

He added: "As a matter of urgency all the ground around the remainder of the tree should be cleared of other plants to a distance of 1.5m and mulched with composted forest bark. The treated area should be fenced against rabbits and deer, post and netting to a height of 1.5m.

"In this way the tree stands a slim but significant chance of sprouting, re-growing and surviving for an indefinite period afterwards.

"Judging from the form of the yew it has been cut down and has regrown before."

Residents living close to the Queensbridge Road site were horrified the tree had been removed.

Alf Dimmock, a senior park ranger with Birmingham City Council, said: "It is possibly the worst case of treeicide I have witnessed. From a personal point of view I find it very sad.

stands a slim chance re-growing for an period.

"The tree was very much part of the city's heritage and is a terrible loss to the people of Birmingham."

Ancient Group " The Uffculme buildin was the former family home of Richard Cadbury, who built it in 1891 and gifted it to the city of Birmingham in 1916 to help further psychiatric health services.

A spokeswoman for the trust said a survey had judged the tree "over mature" and it had needed to be removed to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.

ranger with Council, I and to The tree stands a slim but significant chance of sprouting, re-growing and surviving for an indefinite period. Toby Hindson, Ancient Yew Group

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What remains of the tree in the grounds of Uffculme House, Kings Heath

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 29, 2016
Words:432
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