Published: Thursday, 20th January 2022

It is with great sadness that Warwick District Council will be removing a prominent and much-loved cedar from Jephson Gardens in the coming weeks.

The tree, which is located on the junction of Newbold Terrace East and Willes Road is suffering from honey fungus and has been declining for a number of years. Despite the efforts of the Council’s Green Spaces team to nurture the tree in order to prolong its life, last season’s heatwave has accelerated the spread of the disease and it now needs to be felled.

Local Councillor and Leamington Society member Sidney Syson, who hosts regular tree walks around Jephson Gardens commented:

Councillors Sidney Syson and Jonathan Nicholls with Jon Holmes (WDC Green Space Officer) and Jason Tombs (Warwickshire County Council).

“The cedar could be regarded as one of the ‘elder statesmen’ of the Gardens. It will have been planted more than 100 years ago as one of the original trees, but sadly, despite the great care given by the Council’s Green Spaces Team, due to a combination of disease and climate change it has now reached the end of its natural life.”

Clarendon Ward Councillor, Jonathan Nicholls commented:

“This is a sad day, we know the tree will be sorely missed by local people. Nevertheless, as custodians of the district’s parks and open spaces the Council has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the community, which given its location at a busy road junction and public footpaths will require its removal.  I am grateful to the Green Spaces team and colleagues from Warwickshire County Council for the work they do to preserve and maintain our wonderful collection of mature trees, which are such an asset to our town.”

Councillor Alan Rhead Portfolio Holder for Environment and Neighbourhood Services added:

“I too share the regret of my two fellow Councillors that such a prominent landmark in our Gardens has reached the end of its life, despite all efforts to save it. However, in the interests of safety the tree has to be removed.”

It is likely that the cedar will be felled in early February. A replacement cedar was planted close-by a number of years ago and is establishing well. There are also plans to plant several other trees in the Gardens during this current planting season.

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