RESIDENTS have come together in fierce opposition to a proposed felling of a sycamore tree in Wareham. 

An historic tree which is believed to have stood in East Street for around 150 years could be felled after a survey found it was rotting from within. 

However, since an application was put in to fell the tree, scores of residents have joined together in opposition. 

Wareham resident Lucia Kirk, 73, said the tree is “beautiful” while pointing out it has a protection order on it. 

She said: "When planning permission came in for the new homes, the tree had a protection order on it and it still has one now. 

Bournemouth Echo: Sycamore tree in East Street, WarehamSycamore tree in East Street, Wareham (Image: Daily Echo)

“One of the builders had cut a branch unprofessionally resulting in water getting in and causing it to rot.” 

Meanwhile, Deborah Hawkins said: “It’s the only tree on East Street for a start and it’s been here for about 150 years, so it’s a real part of our history. 

“It also carries a lot of wildlife in it and it looks very beautiful every summer and you can see it from the top of East Street.” 

Pam Bowyer-Davis, 84, added: “If they knock bits off the top every year the tree will be fine and we can keep it.” 

Bournemouth Echo: The tree has stood for over a centuryThe tree has stood for over a century (Image: Andy Hill)

Sarah Titman, 57, added the tree has withstood a number of serious storms over the years and insisted it can be kept. 

Christ Hockley, a member of the eco group Planet Purbeck, questioned why people would want to cut down a tree when global warming is now so prominent. 

The 73-year-old said: “To cut down a tree in this day and age when we are fighting a climate crisis is criminal, if it can be said.” 

Susan Hynes, 54, added: “It’s a beautiful tree and has lots of wildlife that use it – squirrels, birds, insects. 

“But for me it’s also the mental health side: you’ve got a beautiful tree here and it has kept me going through lots of times.” 

Bournemouth Echo: Images show the tree is rotting insideImages show the tree is rotting inside (Image: Andy Hill)

Vicky Charles, chair of eco group Sustainable Wareham, said: “There has been no consultation on this and the first I heard of it was the other day through a Facebook group. 

“All trees have a great contribution to the environment and for animals so we must preserve trees all we can.” 

David Evans, 71, added: “It is such a feature in the street scene here and there are hardly any trees left compared with what there used to be.” 

Mike Wiggins, 75, added: “The planning committee ought to at least hire an independent tree surveyor for their opinion on this – we only have the opinion of the applicant.” 

Carol Turner, the mayor of Wareham, said the tree is historic and that it has been in Wareham all her life. 

Bournemouth Echo: Sycamore tree East Street, WarehamSycamore tree East Street, Wareham (Image: Google Maps)

Ros Adams, meanwhile, described the sage as Wareham's own Sycamore Gap, referring to the felling of a similar tree in Northumberland National Park earlier this year. 

However, Lisa Thomas, 53, lives directly across the road from the tree and is worried the tree could come down in a storm and land on her house. 

She said: “I’m happy to brace it, but I don’t think a lot of people realise it has been deemed hazardous and if that falls, it will go straight through my home.” 

Applicant Andy Hill said he has spent £1,130 on surveys and ultrasounds for the tree and found “serious concerns” about a large void inside the main trunk. 

He said the tree’s structure has been deemed in “very poor” condition and concluded "with great sadness" it has to be felled.

“It is difficult not to think that the objectors who wish to retain the tree will be the same ones to complain vigorously if it fails and causes damage or even injury," he added.

“We are trying to completely remove the threat from an unsafe tree in an urban setting.” 

A decision on the future of the tree will be decided by Dorset Council.