This Lime tree monolith was carried out by DRL Tree Care at Amotherby Hall in North Yorkshire. This mature specimen was heavily decayed and within striking distances of outbuildings and pathways. The customer wished to retain the tree so a monolith was recommended.
What is a Monolith
A monolith is a means of mitigating the risk posed by large hazardous trees, without resorting to felling. Retaining old trees as monoliths provides valuable habitat for the many species that are dependant on the decaying wood and cavities.
It is achieved by removing the entire structure of the tree, stripping everything down to a bare stem. It is important to leave such a structure as balanced as possible to further mitigate the chance of failure. Of course, consideration should be given to the location of the potential monolithed tree, as well as the nature of the decay. For example, a large stem with heavy root decay will be more likely to topple than a stem with decay in the main trunk. A period inspection should be carried out on all monoliths to assess their stability and ongoing viability.
Whilst generally carried out on trees that are dying, in the case of this Lime tree monolith, it is fully expected to put on a flush of new growth at the pruning points. This will of course need ongoing maintenance to ensure not too much extra weight is added to the already fragile structure. For as long as it stands, the customer has done a fantastic job of retaining a tree with high conservational value.
For more information on monoliths, there is a fantastic article on the Arb Associations website by Marco Bartolini which you can read here.