WORK will take place next week to remove a large lime tree along the bank of the River Avon as it poses a danger to the public.
The mature Common Lime is part of an avenue of lime trees in Workman Gardens in Evesham.
Officers at Wychavon have been monitoring the tree for many years as it has bacterial wetwood decay inside the trunk.
The effect of the disease can be seen on the trunk from the dark water-soaked area in the wood. Passers-by may also notice a sour-smelling liquid seeping out.
A recent inspection found 75 per cent of the trunk is currently decayed. If it was left in place it would continue to deteriorate and there is a risk it could topple over.
Efforts have been made to save the tree in recent years including removing the top and branches to encourage new growth – known as pollarding – but with no success.
The opinions of two tree experts have been sought and both agreed the tree should be removed on safety grounds.
Work will begin to remove the tree on Monday (July 13). Wychavon intends to plant a new tree but will have to wait up to two years before it can be replaced.
This is because the bacteria that causes the decay may have infected the root system which would affect the growth of any new tree that is planted.
Coun Emma Stokes, Executive Board member for Environment on Wychavon District Council, said: “We are all devastated we have to remove this tree and I know residents will be upset by this news.
“We have done everything possible to try and avoid having to take this course of action but it is necessary to protect the public. We will plant a new tree in its place as soon as we are able to.”