Historic tree is removed on health and safety grounds

A HISTORIC tree, which is believed to be the only one of its kind in Kirriemuir, has been removed from the grounds of the Day Care Centre.

It was decided that the Giant Redwood, which has been a part of the Kirriemuir skyline for around 200 years, should be removed as it became increasingly more dangerous.

Maureen Allan, manager of Kirremuir Day Care Centre, said: “There were a lot of branches on the tree that were becoming more and more unstable, especially with the gales that we have been having recently.

“So the main reason for removing the tree was on the grounds of health and safety to protect everyone that comes up to the Day Care Centre.

“We didn’t want to take the risk with leaving it up and if it had eventually fallen then it could have killed someone.

“We consulted George Soutar, a local tree surgeon, and the council, before we took the decision to take the tree down.

“We were just terrified that someone was going to get hurt.

“The tree was also so close to the sheltered housing. If it had gone over then it could have done serious damage.

“It was just too dangerous to leave.”

Local man Ian Christie was dismayed when he found that the tree had been removed. In a letter to the Dispatch and Herald he said: “I visited the Kirriemuir Day Care recently to find that the very magnificent specimen of Sequoiadendron gigantium (Wellingtonia or Giant Redwood) had been cut down some time in November.

“This tree was perhaps one of the only specimens of this species originally from California in Kirriemuir and would have survived for at least another 100 years. By cutting this down we have lost an important historical tree, a very valuable asset to Kirriemuir.”

“I would like to know who within the council authorised the cutting down of such a magnificent specimen and why.

“I am informed that the council was consulted before the tree was cut down.”

A spokeswoman for Angus Council said: “The Kirriemuir Day Care Centre at Glebe House is privately owned and they didn’t require the permission of Angus Council to fell a tree.”