On Saturday 19th August in the morning a very large branch suddenly detached itself from the oak tree that stands in the churchyard beside the Reading Road. Fortunately none of the churchyard team who were working there were hit, and it transpired that none of the graves were disturbed.
Since then we have been able to have a Tree Survey that has identified significant decay in the trunk and lower limbs. The conclusion from the survey is that the oak tree presents a significant threat to property and people, especially given its proximity to the busy Reading Road. The firm recommendation is that the tree be either felled completely, or reduced to no more than 4m in height so that it no longer poses a threat.
This will be a significant reduction leaving no more than a large stump which will make a huge difference to the churchyard landscape. It will obviously have an effect on the biodiversity within the churchyard. There are regularly several nests in the holes in the branches, and huge numbers of insectes sheltered under the bark. We are hoping to leave the stump though, so that it will still provide shelter for some of the existing tenants
We have been in contact both Wokingham District and Town Councils to let them know about the danger the tree poses. We have also been talking to the Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association who have provided some useful suggestions. Any work on the trees in the churchyard is subject to approval by the Diocese, who have already provided permission to have the work done to reduce the tree to a safe level.
Link to the Wokingham Today Article
Our intention is to plant a new tree in the same area which will eventually grow to a similar size – in 350 years. So we are also appealing for funding for our tree replacement project. You can donate using the following link:
We are all very sad that we are in this situation, and we shall miss the tree hugely, but the safety of the community and those using the Reading Road is an absolute priority