Rare specimen pine has to be felled due to damage from winds
22nd July 2015
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The tree, a favourite children’s climbing tree, had dropped several limbs over the past couple of years and this week it regrettably lost another major limb. Consequently, the tree, which had previously sustained a lot of storm damage over the years, was deemed unviable and in an unsafe condition. Therefore the City Council was left with no other viable option other than to fell the tree.

This tree was approximately 30 – 40 years old and had reached a height of about 10 – 12 metres. It had an extremely interesting shape probably by it being a poor nursery specimen or having suffered bud damage early in its life. This had caused it to be much twisted with long heavy low lateral branches that unhappily would always be more susceptible to failure. As a direct result of these imperfections, the tree had great presence and character; it was a firm favourite with locals, young and old alike, for its distinctive shape and ease of climbing.

The Bhutan pine was introduced to Europe during the early part of the nineteenth century from south and eastern Asia by Dr Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish surgeon. They were not only brought in for their moderately hard and durable timber but also for the commercial production of turpentine. In addition their interesting foliage and long shaped aesthetic cones made them popular in parks and arboretums. Sadly there are few Bhutan Pine trees left within Exeter with one other of note growing in Rougemont Gardens. The tree will be sorely missed.

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Dave B

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