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Tree No. 1 - February 2005 (from behind The Bell public house)

Tree No. 1 - September 2017 (from The Bell car park)
Here in All Saints church Purleigh stand two Giant Redwood (Tree Nos. 1 & 2) and a Dawn Redwood (Tree No. 3).
One of the Giant Redwood trees (Tree No. 1) is shown in the photographs above and stands tall and proud, a picture of health. The branches missing on one side are due to other trees that were growing beside it until fairly recently. This is a natural phenomenon where the tree discards its branches when shaded. No doubt in order to conserve energy for rocketing skyward.

The other Giant Redwood (Tree No. 2), in the photographs below, became a stark reminder of these trees' most fearsome enemy - lightning strikes. Many of Britain's Giant Redwoods will have suffered lightning damage at some time in their long lives - it is just one of the hazards for any tall tree. Usually they will simply suffer a frazzled top and perhaps a burn mark down the trunk, but they soon recover and continue venturing upward once again. This time, things were a little different! It looks as though an immense blast had hit this tree, and as you can see in the 2005 picture, it left us with very little of the original. It had been tidied and made safe by a firm of arboriculturists. There was still plenty of green foliage on the remaining one third or so of the tree and this looked in good health, but its future had been the subject of some debate in Purleigh Parish council in September 2003. The strike happened on Monday 11th August 2003. A very black Monday indeed and yet, as you can see in the photographs below, the tree recovered and was still growing vigorously fourteen years later in 2017.


Tree No. 2 - February 2005 (Eighteen months after the lightning strike)

Tree No. 2 - August 2005 (from the top of the church tower)

Tree No. 2 - August 2005
(from the top of the church tower)

Tree No. 2 - August 2010
(several new leaders can be seen growing vertically)


Tree No. 2 - September 2013 (from the church)

Tree No. 2 - September 2013 (from the opposite side)


Tree No. 2 - September 2017 (from the church)

Tree No. 2 - September 2017 (from the opposite side)
The lightning struck tree was still growing well in September 2017 and the tatty remains of its original tip are virtually hidden from view behind the new leaders as can be seen in the above photographs taken from opposite sides of the tree.


Tree No. 3 - August 2005
(from the top of the church tower)

Tree No. 3 - September 2013


Tree No. 3 - September 2017

The cemetery also boasts a nice sized Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) which is worth seeing.
In September 2017 this tree was sporting a large number of male and female young cones. Click on the picture below for a closer look.

Tree No. 3 - September 2017

Common Names and Latin Name No. Latitude and Longitude OS National Grid Elevation
(above sea-level)
Height Girth Date Measured
WGS84 OSGB36
Giant Redwood
Sequoiadendron giganteum
1 N51.68672
E0.66289
N51.68621
E0.66457
TL 84167 02018 130ft
(39.6m)
25.8m
25.3m
24.7m
--
4.8m
4.3m
4.3m
4.3m
September 2017
September 2013
August 2010
February 2005
2 N51.68698
E0.66281
N51.68647
E0.66449
TL 84160 02047 132ft
(40.2m)
17.6m
12.1m
12m
4.7m
4.38m
4.35m
September 2017
September 2013
August 2010
Dawn Redwood
Metasequoia glyptostroboides
3 N51.68705
E0.66269
N51.68654
E0.66437
TL 84152 02055 134ft
(40.9m)
16.6m
16.8m
16.2m
--
1.69m
1.5m
1.47m
1.3m
September 2017
September 2013
August 2010
February 2005
Tree No. 2 was struck by lightning in 2003.    Girth was measured at 1.5m from ground.

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