Town's oldest tree falls

PUBLISHED: 10:42 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:30 10 June 2010

Ref: P2334-08-09AW

Ref: P2334-08-09AW

ONE of Exmouth s oldest trees, a Lucombe Oak believed to be around 240 years old, is no more.

Picture by Mary Muldoon

ONE of Exmouth's oldest trees, a Lucombe Oak believed to be around 240 years old, is no more.

The 100 tonne tree, the centrepiece of Phear Park, which celebrates its own centenary this summer, toppled over on Sunday night - despite only light winds blowing.

The so-called Champion Oak had been failing for some time and is thought to have died from the tree equivalent of old age. The trunk snapped off with most of the roots left in the ground.

The champion Lucombe Oak, which has a girth of 7.91m, was donated to the people of Exmouth by the Phear family after the war.

While its exact age is not known since the Lucombe Oak was first grown by William Lucombe in 1767, it could be up to 250 years old.

A spokesman for the district council said: "EDDC's gardeners now have the task of deciding what to do with the massive trunk. The oak has a taller brother in Phear Park which is of a similar age, but is still healthy.

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