26 February 2008
Freddie Cohen, Minister for Planning and Environment, has agreed that the diseased tree at Bel Royal can be felled on condition that a new copse of 50 native trees is planted.
The oak was one of two listed last May by Senator Cohen in an attempt to assure its preservation. However it became apparent that in the interests of road safety the tree would have to be moved. A subsequent detailed re-inspection of the tree by the
indicated that the tree was in much poorer condition than he had initially expected. Consequently
he downgraded the tree to category ‘D’ (diseased or dying). The tree was recently pollarded to allow a further more detailed inspection of the trunk. This inspection concluded that the trunk is significantly decayed and has a limited life expectancy. Thus the Planning and Environment Minister has concluded that the tree can be felled.
Senator Cohen said: “This has been a difficult decision and I have taken great care over it. I had hoped to save the tree and move it. However the recent inspections have shown that it would be unlikely to survive. I have therefore reluctantly decided that the tree can be felled providing that a new copse is planted. The new copse of a mix of 50 native trees is in addition to 5 semi-mature replacement trees the developer will be planting.
I would like to thank Deputy Mezbourian and Constable Fisher for their understanding over this matter and whilst the loss of the tree is a disappointment to all of us it will to some extent be mitigated by the planting of the new copse”