CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

There was no choice with the cedar

23 August, 2019

The Cedar of Lebanon tree, which was chopped down with a chainsaw

• I AGREE with Meg Howarth that we have to be on our guard against the pre-emptive removal of potentially dangerous trees, (Did they get a second opinion over axing the cedar? August 15).

But it was ironic that her letter appeared in the same issue as photographs of two trees which had been blown down the weekend before. One was next door to Highgate Cemetery at Holly Lodge.

Our poorly Cedar of Lebanon was the most important tree in Highgate Cemetery; a tree that nobody wanted to lose. So we commissioned one of the best firms to report on it, not just a guy with a chainsaw.

And we reviewed the situation very carefully on site with the expert to make sure we understood the extent of the problem. Unfortunately this was not a case where there was much room for doubt. This was not a tree which could have been saved by wishful thinking.

And did we get a second opinion? Meg Howarth says “it would have been courteous to inform the borough’s arboriculturists of the tree’s intended felling”. But yes, indeed, we did that too. And they gave us the OK to remove the tree “…at the earliest opportunity”.

The upside is that we will plant a new tree, in exactly the same position, which will grow to give pleasure to future generations as the old one did for us.

IAN DUNGAVELL
Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust

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