An old elm tree is due to be felled in the heart of Brighton today after specialists said that it had become too diseased.
A mature oak tree near by – close to the Royal Pavilion – is also due to be chopped down.
Brighton and Hove City Council said that the elm, near Pavilion Parade, was being removed to prevent Dutch elm disease from spreading to other elms.
The council maintains its elms by pruning out fungus and setting traps for disease-carrying beetles.
Brighton and Hove are home to the National Collection of Elms and Britain’s only surviving significant population of the species.
Rob Greenland, the council’s arboricultural manager, said: “It’s vital to remove diseased elms because of the possibility of spreading to other trees.
“We’re proud of the work we do to look after the city’s trees, especially elms.
“We not only actively contain elm disease but also extend the range and varieties of elm that we have.”
He said that the council had successfully cultivated seeds from America at its nursery in Stanmer Park and young trees were being planted and maintained for the future.
The mature evergreen oak at the Royal Pavilion’s north gate was so infected with fungal wood-decaying disease, the council said, that the only option was to fell it for public safety.
A large section of the felled elm will be used to create a “story-telling throne” and seating for children in Hove Park.
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