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Fallen branch damages headstone at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery

13 June 2012

A headstone at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, near Poperinge in Belgium, was damaged when the recent stormy weather brought down a large branch from a Liquidambar styraciflua (American sweetgum) tree.

Fortunately it happened at night so no one was hurt and the cemetery did not have to be closed to the public at any time. A temporary marker has been placed on the grave and a new headstone has been ordered. 

The Commission has a tree risk assessment programme in place. It monitors the condition of trees and takes action as necessary.

This tree had been assessed as only medium risk because a rotten branch could not be seen from the ground. All the Liquidambars at the cemetery will have a climbed assessment in the coming weeks. 

It is possible that striking cedar trees at Lijssenthoek will eventually have to be removed for safety reasons. 

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery was established near the site of clearing stations for casualties from the Ypres Salient. It is the second largest CWGC cemetery in Belgium, after Tyne Cot Cemetery