Efforts are under way to try to save the famous Wesley Tree in Winchelsea which is in danger after being infected.
The tree is not the original ash tree under which, in 1790, Methodist preacher John Wesley gave his last open-air sermon. That tree collapsed in 1927, partly as a result of damage caused by tourists pulling off bits of the tree as souvenirs.
However, a cutting was taken from the original tree and planted as a replacement. It is a landmark in Winchelsea.
The current Wesley Tree has been infected by Hairy Bracket fungus, which is often associated with a virulent fungus called White Rot.
East Sussex County Council Highways were originally alerted because of fears that the tree, which is on the verge in German Street in Winchelsea, had Ash Die-Back Disease.
This new infection threatens to wipe out most of the country’s ash trees.
Ash Die-Back was ruled out by East Sussex’s tree officer, but he identified the other infection.
Last week, contractors for the East Sussex pruned the tree to remove diseased limbs, which posed a threat to the public, and lower the crown.
There is a high probability however that this will only delay the inevitable.
In order to ensure that there will always be a Wesley Tree in the town, the Winchelsea Heritage conservation group (which recently merged with the Winchelsea Tree Society) arranged, in co-operation with the Methodist Chapel, for cuttings and seeds to be taken from the tree.
Residents have been asked to plant the cuttings and seeds, so that a sapling will be ready to plant if and when the current tree has to be removed.
Anyone who would like to take part in this project in any way should contact Richard Comotto on email@example.com.