Nostalgia: It’s an MO-Tree failure

Cars are crushed in Broomhouse Drive in 1967; below, the Smiddy Oak in St John's Road; below, a tree in memory of Mary, Queen of Scots
Cars are crushed in Broomhouse Drive in 1967; below, the Smiddy Oak in St John's Road; below, a tree in memory of Mary, Queen of Scots
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IT is renowned in its homeland for an ability to cure ailments from baldness to mental illness, but the Tree of Heaven at the Botanic Garden has been sadly unable to turn over a new leaf after last winter’s storms.

The Ailanthus altissima was brought to Scotland in 1925 by collector Joseph Rock and had thrived at the Botanics until just six months ago.

Corstophine's Smiddy Oak tree, St Johns Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh in the 1950s.'2003- The tree believed to be over 300 years old is to be chopped down as it is riddled with rot, and there are fears one of its huge branches could fall off.''Book: Copper Beech tree at Corstorphine, believed to be over 100 years old, neg no. 39424, date 26/05/1955

Corstophine's Smiddy Oak tree, St Johns Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh in the 1950s.'2003- The tree believed to be over 300 years old is to be chopped down as it is riddled with rot, and there are fears one of its huge branches could fall off.''Book: Copper Beech tree at Corstorphine, believed to be over 100 years old, neg no. 39424, date 26/05/1955

Experts are now facing a losing battle as they try to salvage their prized specimen following wind damage.

Trees have made headlines many times over the years in the Capital. In March 1967, three cars parked outside government buildings in Broomhouse Drive received a crushing blow from a fallen tree.

Residents of Corstorphine reacted with sadness in May 1955 when it was revealed the 300-year-old Smiddy Oak in St John’s Road would have to be chopped down after becoming riddled with

rot.

Royal trees have also found a home in the Capital. However, one planted in memory of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1938 was later removed to make space for the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at Little France.

A landmark tree also takes pride of place at the junction of Colinton Road and Redford Road. It is an offshoot of the original Sixpenny Tree, so-called because it marks the place where the Papermakers Guild paid their 6d

dues.

Gale-force winds did, however, wreak havoc in 1956 when a 50ft tree fell, blocking Craiglockhart Road. Reinforcements soon arrived to chop it up.

Wild weather in March 1977 also resulted in a tree being blown over in Bruntsfield Links.