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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 20:28 GMT
Dead cricket tree to be replaced
The blown-over tree
The famous tree was found blown over last Saturday morning
The famous lime tree which stood inside the boundary of Canterbury's cricket ground until it was blown over last weekend will definitely be replaced.

The tree, more than 200 years old, was a landmark at the St Lawrence Ground - home of Kent County Cricket Club.

Staff reporting for work on Saturday found just a 7ft stump left after it was blown over by high winds overnight.

The club planted a new tree in 1999 and confirmed on Friday it would be moved in March to replace the old one.

'Tradition preserved'

The ground opened in 1847 - built around the tree - and while it is not unique in having a tree inside the boundary, it is one of a very small few across the world and has become the most famous.

If the ball hits the tree it counts as four runs.

The club knew the tree, which stood more than 100ft tall at its peak, was in ill health in the late 1990s and had it pollarded - the removal of the top and branches to encourage growth.

Around the same time they planted the new tree as a replacement should it die.

The lime tree in happier days
In happier days the tree was an imposing presence in the outfield

Cricket fans have been laying flowers around the stump this week in memory of the tree.

Kent County Cricket Club said a ceremony for the planting of the new tree on the site of the old one, or as close as possible to it, would be held early in March.

Chairman Carl Openshaw said on the club's website: "There has been a lime tree on the boundary's edge for as long as cricket has been played at the St Lawrence Ground.

"In 1999, when the future of the tree was first in doubt, it was decided to plant a replacement tree so that this tradition could be preserved.

"We have received overwhelming support and interest from within Kent and from far afield and we propose to stage a formal planting ceremony in March."

The club will be making wood from the dead tree into a range of mementos to go on sale to supporters.

It is currently assessing the amount of suitable wood available from the tree.

R.I.P. Kent's cricket ground tree
11 Jan 05 |  Magazine


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