The Dartington Hall Trust has approved a variety of uses for the 200-year-old Monterey Pine, which fell in old age in Dartington’s gardens on Wednesday 27 August.
The collapse of the much-loved tree generated a high level of interest from those who had visited, worked and spent time on the estate, with the future of the ancient timber of particular interest.
Estate manager John Channon said: “We know that for many people, the tree which has grown on the terraces for about 200 years was an iconic feature and one which seemed out of place to many in its otherwise ordered setting, but for others added the crucial ‘less-than-perfect’ element, that gives the gardens the necessary surprise factor that expresses Dartington’s willingness to embrace the unusual.
“From the opinions and feelings expressed to both our gardeners and through social media, it is clear that it is entirely appropriate that we create a lasting legacy and I hope that the following plans will meet with approval.”
Many suggestions from members of the public have been incorporated into the plans:
• The numerous pine cones have been bagged up and will be set aside with a view to using them in some form of celebratory event, either in the autumn or at Christmas.
• Most of the smaller branches will be removed within the next few days, in order to give Dartington’s gardeners the chance to repair the grass beneath.
• Dartington has been in touch with a local artist, who we hope will be able to create a sculpture from some of the wood. The artist has already visited the tree and selected some pieces which might be suitable.
• Over the course of the next week or two, Dartington’s forestry contractor will ‘roll’ the main trunk down into the Tiltyard. He will then bring in his mobile sawmill and cut the tree up into planks or slabs. Schumacher College were seeking timber for two large dining tables, and so this would seem to be a fitting use for some of the wood.
• Some of the resulting timber ‘slabs’ will be used to create one of four lecterns to which information panels will be attached. Each lectern will be made from a different species of estate timber and one has already been installed on the grass just beyond the Gatehouse.
• A smaller piece of the timber has been offered to a musical instrument maker.
• Any remaining timber will be offered to Dartington LandWorks, (a work-based training scheme designed to support current and ex-prisoners to help put crime behind them).