The two-hundred-year-old mighty oak which dominated and provided the centrepiece of the south prospect of Lytham Hall was sadly felled yesterday (Wednesday 12th July).
The lighting strike which happened early Sunday evening put an end to its long life.
The damage was so severe that it had cracked straight through the length of its enormous trunk, along with numerous other vertical splits. The bark had been blown off in various places when the strike happened. Even the bark that appeared attached could be picked off quite easily and the foliage had already started to curl and show stress after just three days (see photographs below).
Many branches have already been removed to mitigate the damage to the lawned areas. The canopy was much bigger than seen here.
There was sadly no way could this tree ever be saved. All at Lytham Hall truly feel a great loss, especially when when it was a perfectly healthy and happy tree before the lightning strike.
The Hall had plans to commission a large circular iron bench around the base of this tree as part of the South Prospect scheme. Sadly, that is now a project that will no longer be able to happen.
The photographs below shows the main split down the centre of the grand oak caused by the lightning strike. The remaining stump shows where the blast from the enormous electrical surge would have shot through its root system and into the earth. The bark has literally blown off with the force of the blast.
Much of the main timber cannot be planked in the usual way due to the splits and fractures, however the Hall will certainly be using some of it. A spokesperson says, ‘Watch this space!’