A 75ft TREE which has been described as the oldest in Bournemouth has been felled after it was found to be diseased.

Cedar Avenue in Northbourne was blocked for much of today as tree surgeons brought down the tree.

Owner Mike Smith believes the tree to be 250-300 years old and has been told it may be the oldest in Bournemouth.

He said a 25ft branch came off in the storms before Christmas and damaged the roof above the room where his children sleep.

He said the insurance claim would be for around £10,000.

He said tree experts said the tree would have to come down.

“They did their assessment on it and found it to be dying. It’s got a fungus half way up which spells death for it in the longer term,” he said.

“It’s a shame because it’s a beautiful tree and it’s part of the Northbourne skyline. It’s reached the end of its life. It’s dying and becoming a hazard.”

The 75ft tree had a span around the same as its height and a circumference of 18ft at its widest.

Apex Tree Surgeons spent much of the day cutting it and removing it.

Mr Smith was given permission to fell the tree on the condition that he plants a giant redwood to replace it.

Ferndown resident Alex Wesson told the Daily Echo that he understood the tree had been a landmark for Mosquito pilots on training during World War Two.

They were required to fly in a straight line from what was then the Congregational Church at Longham to the tree in Northbourne.

In June 1944, a Mosquito flying the route clipped its wing on an overhead wire and crashed at Throop, with the loss of two lives.