A CEDAR tree planted on the Kingston Lacy Estate by the Duke of Wellington will have to be felled because it is suffering from severe rot.
The National Trust, which owns the estate, has been monitoring the condition of the tree – and two other cedars nearby – for several years.
Unfortunately, the rot in the trees has reached such an extent that all three now have to be felled for safety reasons.
"They are landmarks in the garden and we want to do all we can to keep them but the only effective solution for trees this badly damaged by rot is to fell them," said Andrew Hunt, Head Gardener at Kingston Lacy.
The tree was planted in 1827 by the Duke of Wellington, who had been a close friend of Kingston Lacy's owner, William John Bankes who met the Duke on his campaigns during the Peninsular War.
In the same year the Duke laid the foundation stone for the Philae Obelisk – one of Bankes' greatest discoveries in Egypt, and which still stands at Kingston Lacy.
Andrew added: "We will clear the ground and hope to plant replacements for them which, although they won't have the size and grandeur of the originals initially, we have to plant for the distant future in the way those who planted the garden 200 years ago left a legacy for us. The seeds from the Duke's trees have been used to propagate many other younger cedars in the garden so its family line lives on with us."