THE remains of the iconic tree that was taken from Wanstead are nearby in Loughton.

The Guardian today photographed the tree at a City of London Corporation yard in Loughton and specialists from an Epping-based timber and woodyard are due to inspect the tree next week.

Wanstead residents contacted the Guardian last month after the tree inexplicably disappeared from George Green, Wanstead, on September 20.

The sweet chestnut tree was originally torn down during the construction of the M11 Link Road in the early 90s.

The remains of the tree had been lying on the land, opposite Wanstead Tube station, since it was felled in 1993 after its trunk caved in.

The tree was famously occupied by protesters who tried to block the link road, and its final demise was covered by national press and TV news.

When it disappeared angry residents believed it may have been stolen and some speculated it may have been removed to allow for future development of the land.

But the Guardian tracked it down and City of London Corporation confirmed the tree, which is on the organisation's land, had been taken into care.

Far from having gone in the chipper, the tree is awaiting inspection.

A City of London Corporation spokeswoman said: "The tree is in the yard at The Warren in Loughton.

"A timber company is coming to look at it hopefully next week and they will decide if they can treat it.

"If they feel they can't treat it or it needs another more specialised company to look at it then we will seek an external company.

"It needs to be treated as it has been burned and vandalised."

Jack Figg, a member of the Wanstead Society, said: "All is not lost.

"That puts minds at rest. People are entitled to speculate because there is a rumour that the tree may have made way because the land could become a future car park.

"It is very accessible and ona few Tube stops from Stratford if you think of the Olympics.

"They can't mess about now that it is in the public eye."