Storm Rachel blows down 300-year-old beech tree

David Burns pictured at the root of the beech tree which fell at the Richmount Cordials estate in Carrickboy last week.
Storm Rachel left her mark on Carrickboy last week when a tree, which is thought to be some 300 years old, came a cropper on the Richmount Cordials estate.

Storm Rachel left her mark on Carrickboy last week when a tree, which is thought to be some 300 years old, came a cropper on the Richmount Cordials estate.

Although Longford evaded the worst of the weather, the beech tree in question was a vulnerable target on account of its shallow roots, and it was one of a number trees that were blown down across the county.

Martina Burns, who manufactures elderflower cordial along with her husband David on the estate, explained what happened.

“The weather wasn’t that bad here but because the tree’s roots are shallow, it is susceptible to high winds, such as those posed by ‘Rachel’.

“In this particular tree there were very few roots.

“We’re just thankful that it fell onto the field and not out on the road where it could have caused a fatality.”

Martina went on to explain that the Richmount Cordials estate is thought to be one of the oldest inhabited residences in Longford.

This indicates that the beech trees which flank the property could be up to 300 years old.

“It’s not verified yet but there is reason to believe that the house was built around 1720 so seeing one of the beeches fall is like seeing a bit of history being chipped away,” she said.

The Richmount beech trees were given due recognition last year when Martina’s husband David captured a picture of them, which was subsequently published in the Longford Camera club’s calendar.

Martina also revealed that the family are intent on replanting another tree to replace the beech for future generations to enjoy.

“Oh yes we will definitely replace the tree. It’s very sad when you see a tree which has such a rich heritage being destroyed so we feel duty bound to keep that legacy alive. And of course they add to the scenery too.”

Prior to the arrival of ‘Storm Rachel’, Longford was hit by snowfall and low temperatures. However, the weather looks set to finally improve, as the outlook for the next five days in Longford appears bright.

On Wednesday it will be sunny with rain while temperatures float between 4 and -2 degrees, and Thursday will be slightly warmer with sunny spells throughout the day.

On Friday, temperatures will not fall below zero and there will be sunshine for most of the day, while temperatures on Saturday and Sunday will waver between 5 and 9 degrees.