Old Oak Tree in Rotary Gardens

Many Piltonians will know well the enormous old oak tree at the top of Rotary Gardens.  Unfortunately it has contracted a serious fungal disease, Meripilus giganteus, which has resulted in large clumps of the fungus at its base.  Sadly, this will eat at the roots and gradually kill it.

Pilton House Grounds sometime in 19th Century

This photograph of Pilton House from the east, taken sometime in the mid-nineteenth century, shows a large tree which we believe is that same oak tree on the left.  An assessment of the age of the tree today by considering the girth suggests it could be well in excess of 200 years old.  That could even take its date of planting back to the time when Pilton House was completed in 1746.

In a process designed to manage its decline, the tree is to be pruned in October 2014 to reduce its height and spread.  This will be repeated over the next 10-15 years to reduce the risk of falling branches.