Lightning strikes at Rosemoor

Tree blasted to splinters by storm over Torrington attraction

A tree at RHS Garden Rosemoor in Torrington was literally blown to smithereens after being struck by lightning.

The solitary cedar, part of the Bicentenary Garden at the attraction, was reduced to a splintered stump after a recent violent thunderstorm moved through the Torridge Valley.

A wide circle of destruction saw branches blasted up to 45 metres away during the intense 30 minute storm, with splinters of branches and trunk spread across the open lawn while the nearby wood was left eerily untouched by the lightening bolt.

“We were extremely lucky that the lightning struck at 6.15pm and the garden was already closed with none of our gardening team being near the Arboretum,” said Sally Charleton, head of site at Rosemoor.

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“Residents at Lady’s Anne’s house heard what sounded like an explosion and – indeed – the radius of the debris demonstrates how violent the lightning strike was.”

The tree – a cedrus libani native to SW Asia and Syria – was planted as part of the Bicentenary Arboretum opened in 2004.

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Rosemoor itself did not sustain any other damage during the storm and the Arboretum is open as usual.

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