A DAMAGED tree on a Ludlow town centre car park now looks doomed.

The tree is the Castle Street car park has split and seems to be beyond saving.

Shropshire Council has applied for its removal and Ludlow Town Council has decided not to contest this.

The tree had a champion in Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North.

He had originally said that the tree needed some proper care and not the axe.

But now he has changed his mind.

His change of heart followed a meeting of the Town Council’s Representational Committee.

“Agreeing with revised advice from its tree warden, the town council said that the tree could not be rescued

as the base of the trunk had

begun to rot after water penetrated through the split fork, which is

close to the ground,” said Mr Boddington.

“Strapping the tree or selectively cutting its limbs would not therefore work. The council accepts the tree must be felled. But the tree warden and the council want the roots grubbed out and a semi-mature native species tree planted to replace the Norway Maple.

“Having received independent advice, I completely agree with this approach. This is a change from my previous position of wanting the tree managed and saved. The biggest challenge will be ensuring the replacement tree is well maintained throughout its life.”

The councillor said that he had taken expert advice after originally criticising to proposal to remove the tree and has admitted that he got it wrong.

The advice was clear: ‘I’m afraid that in my opinion… the tree should be removed on safety grounds.

“The trunk bifurcation at the base is a major weak point… The only maintenance a replacement tree requires would be during the formative years when it might need watering and the tree stake and ties inspecting and replacing as necessary.

‘We could set up a community tree maintenance scheme (perhaps as part of Ludlow in Bloom) to do this. Unfortunately, the tree should be removed and if necessary, the roots ground out with a specialised machine before re-planting.’

This is in line with the advice to the town council from Peter Norman, its tree warden.

“I am withdrawing my objection but like the town council, I will press for a replacement tree be planted,” added Mr Boddington.

The councillor is concerned about the shortage of trees in Ludlow.