Learning from a lost branch

Published: 13 April 2022

The Norman church of St Mary Magdalene at Leinthall Starkes stands in a remote location 8 miles SW of Ludlow. At the end of a long grassy track, the church is guarded by 4 ancient yews, 2 at the east and 2 at the west end of the church.

In late 2021 a large branch on one of the trees at the west end partially snapped and was left in a precarious position. In March 2022 it was removed by a local firm called The Humble-Bee Gardeners. I was given the opportunity to be in attendance and was provided with samples that will form part of the dendrochronological studies being carried out by AYG member Toby Hindson.

The cut seen in the photograph would seem to have been made at the time of a previous attempt to remove the branch, which was clearly unsuccessful.