One of the city’s best known and most photographed trees is to be cut down for health and safety reasons.
The old elm tree in Brooke Park - known as the ‘Dead Elm’ - was killed by Dutch Elm Disease more than 10 years ago.
The disease is caused by a fungus which blocks the tree’s water transport system, causing its branches to wilt and die.
It is spread by elm bark beetles that burrow their way into the dying tree and lay eggs.
Rather than felling it at that time, the local Council has been actively monitoring the condition of the dead tree and carrying out successive crown reductions.
It is to be completely removed in the spring.
The tree was the centrepiece of ‘Dead On’, a Void Gallery sound artwork by Locky Morris in 2013.
Council’s Tree and Woodland Officer Brendan Garthwaite says the tree has now reached the end of its natural life, even as a standing structure.
“We have been closely monitoring the tree’s condition for some time and, unfortunately, its condition has continued to deteriorate with several major cracks beginning to appear in the dead branches of the crown,” he said.
“We appreciate the affection that exists for the tree locally but we have had to take the decision to act and remove it in the interests of public safety.”