A 70-foot tree in Hall Place North is to face the chop after aggressive fungus was discovered to have taken hold of the historic plant, threatening its future

Major tree surgery started earlier today to ensure the safety and future of the 21-metre Ash tree that is a popular feature of Hall Place North, opposite Hall Place & Gardens.

Following an inspection of the tree by the Council, several significant problems were reported as the tree was found to be affected by an aggressive fungus.

The Council’s tree experts have approved the surgery because they believe that without it the tree would present an unacceptable risk to the safety of the public.

Although tree surgeons will aim to keep as much of the tree as possible, it will be considerably smaller when the work is complete.

It's believed that the tree should produce new healthy growth in the future and that will improve its appearance and health, enable it to continue to benefit wildlife and to be enjoyed by visitors and passers-by.

The tree can be clearly seen from Bourne Road and sits just above the site’s football pitch, with a well-used public bench on its western side.