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180 year-old tree in Cwmbran to be chopped down

Jonny and the dead tree outside the church

Jonny and the dead tree outside the church


A cedar tree in Cwmbran that is over 180 years-old has died and will be chopped down later this month. The 80 foot tree is in the grounds of Pontrhydyrun Baptist Church in Croesyceiliog.

Jonny Raine, the church minister, said it was one of three cedars that were brought over from Palestine in the 18th century and planted.

He said: “Despite its history and significance to our church and community it has been declared dead and needs to come down.

“Our gates have a plaque with a poem called 'The Cedars of Pontrhydyrun' dedicated to them. The other two were blown down during a storm in 1928.”

For the last few years the tree has not been in a good condition and council officers have kept an eye on it. It was declared dead and the church has booked in a contractor to start cutting on 30 September.

Keep an eye on the Cwmbran Life Facebook page closer to the date for more information as Chapel Lane may be closed during the work.


The poem about the church's cedar trees

The poem about the church's cedar trees


Pontrhydyrun Baptist Church

Pontrhydyrun Baptist Church



About Ben Black

I write the blog Cwmbran Life http://www.cwmbranlife.co.uk and the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CwmbranLife


11 thoughts on “180 year-old tree in Cwmbran to be chopped down

  1. It’s very sad, indeed. We have done what has been recommended by our tree surgeons over the years to try to resuscitate the cedar (including major surgery as noted by Kel) – crowning, thinning, trying to stimulate growth by removing deadwood – but it has been on a downhill path for years. I’ve been at the church for 5 years now and every year it’s got worse and worse. Finally this year it has given up the ghost.

    The decision wasn’t taken likely – well, to be honest, it wasn’t really up to the church at all. Once the tree surgeon had pronounced it dead it has to come down.

    We choose to think of the positives – no more dead branches falling from the trees (I personally have been klonked on the head by a branch (maybe a twig) which had fallen from the top of the tree – made my wife laugh like a drain and fortunately didn’t hurt. Much.) It means we can work on the wall to get that back to how it originally looked, and sort out a handrail for our more infirm members.

    There will almost certainly be traffic management on Chapel Lane. We know this is a horrible inconvenience but it’s the only way to get the tree down safely – we really don’t want a bough hitting someone’s car.

    Kel – if you email me on secretary@pbce.org.uk I will see what I can do about getting you a log.

    God Bless;

    John Vinall
    Church Secretary, Pontrhydyrun Baptist Church

    Posted by John Vinall | September 19, 2013, 6:11 pm
  2. What sad news The Cedar is a beautiful tree with very fragrant branches!

    Posted by jillhobbsartist | September 16, 2013, 2:50 pm
  3. Farewell to a beautiful landmark of Croesyceiliog.
    Do we know the reason why this fine tree has died? The tree has received some major tree surgery over the last two decades. I wonder if this was the cause; or is it just old age, the old Cedar has had a fair run it seems?
    This lovely old tree has been something I have admired all my life. A day hasn’t gone by without me looking at the old girl and I can’t imagine what the view towards the ‘Mountain Air’ will look like without her!
    Born in 1958 in Croesyceiliog, attending Sunday school at Pontrhydyrun Baptist Chapel and now living close to chapel, the tree is visible from my home. My family are extremely saddened to hear of its demise. However, I suspected there was something not quite right last year when the pine needles failed to look dark green and waxy in appearance as in previous years.
    If possible once felled, I would appreciate a sawn off log from the tree. I feel inspire to create a carving or just have a souvenir. Perhaps the chapel could have the stump carved into some iconic sculpture. I have recently commissioned a similar project just around the corner from the church. We will have to see what happens………….
    I do hope chapel is able to replanting a replacement, perhaps a ‘whip-round’ by the local residence will help fund a successor? I can’t imagine a Cedar sapling being too expensive…. I know! Let us replace the three trees that once stood there! Now how do people feel about that?

    Posted by Kel | September 16, 2013, 2:24 am
  4. this is a shame its been such an iconic feature of that road all my life 😦

    Posted by hywel | September 15, 2013, 12:30 am
  5. Such a pity. Even dead, it’s gorgeous, but I understand the danger. Nice to see it well documented to be remembered though. 🙂

    Posted by Gemmarella Leanne Goode | September 14, 2013, 4:48 pm

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The view over Cwmbran

The view over Cwmbran

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