Bigfoot Beech loses its head

Beech Tree, Wanstead ParkThe beech tree: minus its head and its limbs!One of Wanstead Park's most distinctive and fine trees has lost its head to the axe.

The large Beech tree, which lies near the golf course fence on the main trackway between the Shoulder of Mutton and Heronry Ponds, was distinctive for its partly-exposed root system, which gave it the appearance of some creature with multiple feet.

Now, in common with numereous other trees in the Park and on Wanstead Flats, it has had most of its limbs and its top lopped off - presumably in the interests of public safety. fungus Ganoderma adspersum wp 120819 30871artBeech Bracket Fungus on the treeThe cut limbs, lying in a heap to the side of the tree, show some with considerable fungal damage, and from the track-side the main trunk looked quite sound. However on the side nearest the golf course a lot of wood-rot damage could be seen, and some quite spectacular growths of the beech bracket fungus.

Such a shame that such a magnificent tree had to be treated in this way, rather than coming to its own slow end.

Paul Ferris, July 2012