The owner of the historic Stair House in Ayrshire has been told to remove a centuries-old beech tree infected with ‘dangerous’ fungi.
Tree inspector Chris Calvey was hired to assess the condition of the tree and was sufficiently concerned to infer that removing the tree was vital.
Mr Calvey said that the tree could be around 250-years-old, but was a species at an age where it is susceptible to disease due to its relatively thin bark.
He added that he saw a photo of the tree and immediately recognised the fungi in question and knew that there would be no saving the tree.
However, he pointed out that while he never wants to see trees cut down, safety was paramount.
He added: “While 250 is a good age, it is still young for a forest tree. Oaks can live beyond 400 years.”
In a letter included in the application to planners, Mr Calvey wrote that the meripilus giganteus (giant polypore) causes white rot and attacks the roots system.
He added: “By the time the large fruiting bodies appear there is a high chance of windthrow and the fungus is regarded as one of the most dangerous decay fungi to be found on beech.
“I strongly recommend you contact the local authority due to the conservation area designation to seek approval for removal as soon as possible.
“Please make every attempt to seek approval but failing [that] the tree should be removed without delay.”
By local democracy reporter Kevin Dyson