By: Melissa Nichols On: October 13, 2023 In: Blog Comments: 0

Yesterday, the historic 50ft sycamore tree, believed to have been planted in the late 19th century in Northumberland, was removed by GGR’s MCC1004 mini crawler crane.

The tree, known for its appearance in films and as a social media backdrop, was carefully lifted off Hadrian’s Wall by our ten-tonne machine, sparking emotional reactions from the public and many crowds gathering to watch the famous tree’s removal.

The tree’s origins trace back to John Clayton, a philanthropist and lawyer from Newcastle, who planted it to fill a landscape dip created by glacial meltwater. Its significance grew over the years, becoming a symbolic view and an emblem of Northumberland.

The MCC1004, featuring solid, heavy duty tracks and wide base, meant the machine was easily able to move across the rough, uneven terrain to make it to its remote lifting location.

GGR Group's MCC1004 Mini Crawler Crane lifting the Sycamore Gap tree.

GGR Group’s MCC1004 Mini Crawler Crane lifting the Sycamore Gap tree.

During the removal process, workers used chainsaws to clear branches before lifting the main trunk away from the 1,900-year-old Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The felled sections were transported from the site using a tractor and trailer, while collected seeds may be used to grow new saplings, preserving the tree’s legacy.

The National Trust, responsible for the site, is considering various options for the tree’s timber and stump. Suggestions include crafting benches, sculptures, or souvenirs. The public’s input is welcomed, with the Trust keeping an open mind about future steps.

Whoever felled the world-famous tree at Sycamore Gap has “ironically” prolonged its life, a National Trust boss said.

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