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Dead wood – cemetery tree is felled

09 August, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

Ian Dungavell in front of the tree

IT predates Highgate Cemetery itself, towering over the land that became the historic burial ground for two-and-a-half centuries.

But this week the striking Cedar of Lebanon tree, a centrepiece of the West Cemetery, was declared to be dying and dangerous as it was chopped down with a chainsaw.

“It was like hearing a relative has progressive cancer,” said Ian Dungavell, the cemetery’s chief executive.

The cedar before it was felled

“It is like being asked to switch off a life support machine, but it has been suffering for a long time and has reached the end of its life.”

Volunteers at the cemetery bade farewell to the tree on Sunday before the tree surgeons arrived the next morning.

Mr Dungavell said: “First we noticed some fungus so we called the experts.”


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