Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.


Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.


Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!


Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.


Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.


Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.


11th June 2015 and John Ball takes advantage of the silver maple's shade in the chapel cemetery (by the Co-op). See the photo of the tree below in all its glory; it was felled on or around 15th November 2022. I have written to Corsham Town Council asking why, and by whom, the tree was felled. I have (more than) a feeling that the 'operatives' had no clue as to what and why. My email to CTC included the following: "In a time of much disease affecting our populations of ash, oak, horse chestnut (look at the trees in Cross Keys Road), London plane and others, why have 'we' felled a maple? Corsham's contribution to global warming? I await a response*.


Apparently, the Corsham Hub Facebook page includes the following: regarding tree work to be undertaken in the area: "This includes the removal of the silver maple between the Co-op and Cafe Grounded which has sadly split and is dangerous". I would take this with a pinch of salt - I have asked to see reports and photographs of the state of the tree.

Ownership of the land in question lies with the Martingate company (not with Corsham Town Council as might be inferred from the text above). Clearly, Andrew Hall's (the MD of Martingate) heart is in the right place as I have received the following affirmations from him:


This was the comment from the (arboriculturalist's) report:

Fast –growing, medium-sized tree; not fully sized

An upright single lower trunk divides at a multiple fork at 2-2.5m ht giving rise to four secondary ascending, fanning stems (200 – 250mm diam), which divide again shortly above at c 3m ht to approx 10 no. fanning 3°stems (c 150mm diam) that in turn fork at various points above in a wide-spreading crown. The major forks subtending the secondary and tertiary stems all show clear signs of poor structure, with tight formation, ingrown bark and flanged growth. Certain nursery forms of the species are known to have inherently weak fork systems and to be highly susceptible to shedding stems and branches, particularly as parts become heavy and long-extended with growth with age

Forks at the base of T10’s crown and overall throughout much of its crown framework show features typical of such inherently weak form. Regrettably, in light of this and given the tree’s position and size, I advise that T10 should be either managed as a low pollard, or removed and a more suitable tree species planted in its place.


In short, the tree was condemned, the only choice being timing. The cherries will be better for wildlife too.


For what it is worth, I feel the same love of trees and plant about 50 each year elsewhere. We seem to have a series of disease tragedies starting with Dutch elm as you refer to; most if not all local ash already have die back (even if not yet symptomatic) and even the trusty oak is at risk from officials scared of OPM which has now been found in Salisbury. We can’t plant trees fast enough!


Sadly I am indeed exposed to litigation culture which means that I can’t take risks that I would happily live with elsewhere. I do very much believe in actively managing trees with a long term view - decades and centuries – even though I won’t get to see anything I plant now in full maturity. It was indeed quite shocking to see an empty hole where the maple was, but every year of delay was a year that healthier trees could not grow in that location. Imagine if the cherries had been planted 10 years ago!


Finally, by way of reassurance, my tree guy is not one of the “if in doubt chop it down” variety. I don’t use the tree surgeons for the advice, for that exact reason. Eg the tree at the back of Corsham Hardware is really quite rotten but he considered it structurally sound. So it had a haircut, but wasn’t felled. He didn’t recommend felling the maple lightly…


The silver maple (Acer saccharinum) felled on or around 15th November 2022.

The last 'fall' of the tree's delicate and colouful leaves may be seen in the photos and gallery below

Print | Sitemap
© Paul Turner