Tree ID: 4121
Yews recorded: Lost
Tree girth: No data
Girth height: not measured
Tree sex: unspecified
Date of visit: No data
Source of earliest mention: No dataNotes:
An item in the Birmingham Mail on 24th March alerted us to the felling of a ‘500-year-old tree’ on the instructions of the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust. An investigation is being sought as to ‘why one of Birmingham’s oldest tree has been hacked down. The tree has been reduced to a tangled stump in the grounds of Uffculme House in Kings Heath after health bosses feared it posed a safety hazard. A survey revealed it was suffering ‘significant decay’ so Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust ordered that it be axed. Residents living close to the Queensbridge Road site say they are horrified that the tree has been removed.
Alf Dimmock said he had been approached by angry members of the public. ‘It is possibly the worst case of treeicide I have witnessed,’ he said. ‘From a personal point of view I find it very sad. The tree was very much part of the city’s heritage and is a terrible loss to the people of Birmingham’. He said on social media that the tree could be at least 500 years old and he has been in touch with experts at the Ancient Yew Group.
The Uffclume building was the former family home of Richard Cadbury, who built it in 1891 and gifted it to the city of Birmingham in 1916 to help further psychiatric health services. Mr Dimmock added: ‘Richard Cadbury had spoken about a yew tree that had been in the grounds for centuries when the building was built in 1891’.
I think the real concern from local people is that there was no consultation about the plans to remove it. Somebody I was speaking to compared the situation to someone going to a doctor with a sore finger and having an arm chopped off. There are alternatives such as lopping and pruning. A spokeswoman for the trust said no preservation order had been attached to the tree nor any others inside the Uffculme House estate. She added that a survey had judged the tree ‘over mature’ and said it had needed to be removed to ensure the safety of staff and visitors’.
March 2019 – Dave Kenny: The final photo, from Google Streetview, shows the yew in March 2019. The stump has been left and there is some new growth. Perhaps it will survive after all.
|Uffculme House - Kings Heath
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