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Majestic ‘Tree of the Year’ winner ‘Old Homer’ saved after shedding close to two tons!

'Along with the much needed support underneath that is soon to be installed, this will hopefully give Old Homer another 100 years of life at the very least'

A former ‘Tree of the Year’ winner at Kilbroney Forest Park has been saved – after undergoing a much-needed ‘hair cut’!

Known affectionately as ‘Old Homer’, concerns had been expressed for the leaning tree’s future.

Independent Councillor Mark Gibbons met with Jonathan Ellis, Newry, Mourne and Down Council’s grounds maintenance manager, and tree expert Paul Clerkin to discuss the urgent need to act now before it’s too late.

The 200 year old evergreen holm oak has been showing large splits and cracks at the base of its trunk because of the overbearing weight it has had to contend with through the years.

Now Old Homer has shed almost two tons in weight.

The tree has been given a “small crown reduction”, with part “sympathetically taken off”.

Councillor Gibbons has thanked Jonathan Ellis for the work which has now been carried out.

He praised the maintenance manager for “reactin so positively to my request”.

Said Councillor Gibbons: “This will help ease it’s heavy burden and also allow the wind and any snow to get through to the ground.

“Along with the much needed support underneath that is soon to be installed, this will hopefully give Old Homer another 100 years of life at the very least.”

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