Northern Ireland news

Tree thought to be oldest in west Belfast's City Cemetery to be felled by council

A HUGE copper beech tree - thought to be the oldest in a Belfast cemetery - is being felled after being weakened by two diseases to the point it is now a risk to public safety.

The ancient tree stands close to the entrance of City Cemetery in west Belfast.

A Belfast City Council spokesperson said it has been "monitoring the health and condition of the large mature copper beech tree" for some time.

"The tree is infected with a white rot that affects the heartwood and major roots of the host tree," they said.

"During a recent inspection an additional disease was identified which attacks weakened or stressed trees. This can also decay roots and stems potentially resulting in root or stem failure.

"After considering all options, due to the public safety risk the tree will be felled with works scheduled to take place on December 17.

"We will plant new trees once felling has been completed. Some of the existing mature copper beech will also be preserved to form part of the biodiverse roof on the new visitor centre in the City Cemetery."

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Northern Ireland news