THE large sycamore tree at the entrance of Ford Park is due to be removed.

The tree is said to likely have been planted when Ford House was built in the 1860’s.

Ford Park bosses said decay and rotting inside the sycamore was the reason for its removal as well as the possible danger of falling branches.

Despite gardeners spending 12 years trying to save the tree the time has come to cut it down.

Jill Salmon, a member of Ford Park Ulverston, said: “The sycamore at the main entrance to Ford Park was first identified as having major health problems or major defects as early as 2007.

“Over the past 12 years, we have worked hard to retain the tree, protecting the root system from pedestrian traffic and vehicles and undertaking periodic pruning, including the most recent removal of branches in 2017.

“Sadly, it has an open cavity and decay in its trunk. The cavity is approximately 60 per cent of the stem cross sectional area on average.

“In 2017 and this year, the tree was identified as posing an unacceptable risk of harm. In 2017, we removed some of the branches to reduce the crown in an attempt to reduce the risk. However, the risk has remained at the same level in this year’s inspection and despite our efforts, the cavity size increased. Due to the proximity of the tree to the main entrance and the driveway, the risk of harm should the tree fail in some way is obviously very concerning and we must put public safety first. We are planning to remove the crown of the tree and leave the majority of the tree trunk in situ, retaining as much of its wildlife benefits as possible.

“Because of its internal cavity, our tree is partially hollow with large pockets of decay and will continue to serve as an important structure and habitat for foraging, nesting and roosting.

“Small branches and brash will be chipped to provide mulch in the park and gardens.

“We will use small branches and timber to create habitat piles. Larger branches and timber will be salvaged and reused in various ways. If possible we will be use some of the larger branches to create more seating on the park.

“We have plans and support to develop a Native Tree Species Arboretum on the park.This will entail planting at least 36 native trees on the park this year and early next. We are also planning a community orchard to be planted alongside the pathway to the hospice.” South Lakes District Council have approved plans to fell the tree.