Mid Wales

Llanfyllin councillors back plan to save 'Lonely Tree'

Lonely tree, Llanfyllin Image copyright Emma Watkins
Image caption The Lonely Tree - a landmark for nearly two centuries - was felled by February storms

An appeal has been launched in a bid to save a Powys landmark - known as 'The Lonely Tree'.

The Scots Pine has surveyed the Llanfyllin landscape for at least 150 years - but was brought down by the 100mph winds that battered Wales.

Now, the town council hope to keep the tree alive by covering its roots in soil.

The tree is also being fenced off to keep hungry sheep from eating its leaves.

Work to preserve - and potentially save the tree - will get underway during the weekend, as two 'tap roots' keeping it alive are covered over.

It is hoped that it may also trigged what is known as a 'phoenix' reaction - where the tree is regenerated.

Tree hugging

The tree is such a well known landmark in the area, that it is used as part of the logo for the town council's website.

According to local tradition, anyone planning to walk up Green Hill should ensure they visit the tree and give it a hug.

"We need to cover the roots as soon as possible and we hope to start the work this weekend," said Llanfyllin mayor, Ann Williams.

Image copyright Other
Image caption Tree hunter Rob McBride was called in to provide his opinion

"Once that work is done we will have to leave it for a year to see if another sapling has started growing."

The tree stood on land owned by the family of town and county councillor Peter Lewis.

"The tree is important to many people and is a historical part of Llanfyllin and the Cain valley so we have to try and save it" he said.

"My family have had many requests from people all over the world who wanted to spread their loved ones' ashes near it.


Image copyright Neville Fay
Image caption Other fallen trees have survived through 'Phoenixing'

The town council has also consulted "tree hunter" Rob McBride, who is a campaigner for the protection of veteran, heritage and ancient trees.

"There is a definite possibility of saving the tree because here seems to be at least one large root still connected to it," he said.

"The roots need to be covered with soil as soon as possible before they dry out.

"I have seen other trees that have been blown over survive including a redwood near Welshpool through a process called 'phoenixing' which now has three vertical stems growing from the original tree."

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