Going, going, gone!

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that one of our next door neighbour’s oak trees had split during one of our gales, and was now needing attention from a tree surgeon. The first tree surgeon he contacted wanted to charge him £3,000, eventually he found one who would charge£800, a bit of a difference!

Damaged oak tree

Here you can see the oak in the centre, with the branch on the right that has split away.

Damaged oak tree

In the two weeks since it split, while waiting for the tree surgeon, it has split even further. It’s just as well that the split is on the garden side because just over the hedge to the left is the road that runs through the village.

Oak tree minus split.

While working on the tree, the surgeons decided that the whole tree had to come down as they felt that the tree had been weakened, having so much of its trunk removed. This shows the scar left the first day after the right hand fork had been taken out.

Tree surgeon

They all came back the next day and first of all set up traffic control as they were cutting over the road. Next, the electricity was cut off as the wires run through the branches of the trees. Can you see the young man in the centre of the photo, the way they swing around in the tree tops with their chainsaw is amazing.

One more branch to go

More of the crown of the tree has now gone, it was sent whizzing down to a chipping machine in the road below. One more branch on the left is still to be cut down. All this activity was making the squirrels who live in these trees very anxious. We normally only see them jumping from tree to tree in the winter when the leaves have fallen, they weren’t at all happy.

The trunk

Just the trunk remaining now.

All gone

All gone. It took about 150/200 years to grow, all gone in 6 hours. Very sad.

I think the time has come for us to start replacing the trees that have to come down. The squirrels are always burying acorns and conkers in our garden, so as our neighbour also lost one of his chestnut trees last year, I think I will have to pot up any that shoot up in the garden and take them round to him to keep his bit of woodland going.

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22 Responses to Going, going, gone!

  1. Gitte says:

    What a good idea to think of new trees to plant. They do take a long time to mature like this one. Otherwise it would eventually look bare.
    Lets hope these recent storms won´t come again soon.

    • Pauline says:

      Hello Gitte, having a little bit of woodland is a responsibility, it has to be managed. Trees such as the oak and chestnut take so long to grow, any that are planted now will be for future generations to enjoy. I think the storms are now over, the weather has been very calm for a couple of weeks now.

  2. rusty duck says:

    You are right about having to manage woodland. It’s the cost of tree work that is preventing us getting a lot more done. It is staggering.

    • Pauline says:

      You’re right Jessica, tree work is so expensive and you have to be sure that you don’t get a cowboy! All our trees have preservation orders on them so we can’t touch them unless they’re dangerous. In spite of the preservation orders SWEB and British Telecom can do what they like as their wires run through the branches. I wonder why the wires were put there, the trees have been there before electricity and telephones were thought of!

  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    It’s always sad to see one of these living pieces of history taken down. Thinking about what has happened in the world in the lifespan of this tree makes us humans seem very small and insignificant. Your idea of taking new trees to your neighbor is delightful!

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Peter, we are insignificant compared to one of these ancient trees. We have a dead oak in the middle of our garden, the trunk is so wide it must have been at least 350 years old, what a difference it would have seen in the world around it!

  4. I’m glad to see you considering oaks and chestnuts as replacements. It seems like many people around here are afraid to plant a real tree and only plant small things that won’t ever amount to anything majestic. I say plant the legacy trees! If it threatens in the 150th year think of all the joy it brought for the 149 years previous!

    • Pauline says:

      I think we have to replace what was there before with more of the same, the little woodland that we all have is composed of oak, ash and chestnut. Obviously when planting in a garden, there wouldn’t be room for one of these huge trees, but in a bit of woodland they are ideal. Planting for our grandchildren and great grandchildren is the order of the day!

  5. Christina says:

    Very sad but I’m sure necessary and do plant more of the same, I suppose ideally you’d plant 6 or more now to ensure one magestic beauty in 150 years.

  6. Chloris says:

    How awful to see an old oak cut down. I’ m not surprised it is expensive, it looks very dangerous swinging around in the treetops with a chainsaw.
    I love your Hellebores on your header.

  7. Jane Scorer says:

    Hi Pauline, so sad when lovely mature trees are lost.That is a lovely old oak tree. We lost a lovely old Bramley in the gales which produced the best cooking apples ever. We will burn the logs which is good, and have planted three or four baby apple trees which will eventually take its place. Still hard to see them go though!
    I hope all the squirrels have calmed down now !

    • Pauline says:

      It is such a shame when such giants have to come down Jane, all we can do is to plant more so that in another hundred years there will be a large oak once more! What a shame to lose such a lovely old Bramley, we inherited one here when we moved here 23 years ago,they certainly are fantastic cooking apples. The squirrels are a lot calmer today thanks, they must have been worried, watching part of their habitat being destroyed.

  8. Angie says:

    What a loss you neighbours garden has suffered. Such a beautiful tree. Those tree surgeons do a remarkable job don’t they? Certainly not a career for the feint hearted!
    What a lovely neighbour you are to collect some seedlings for him. I was given an oak seedling by a work collegue and brought it on in my garden for a couple of years. A friend of a friend that has a huge garden took it off my hands when they experience a similar loss in their garden. I kind of felt good knowing I was doing my own wee bit to help restore part of their woodland.

    • Pauline says:

      I think the tree surgeons are so brave Angie, doing what they do, not a job for me! I feel that my neighbour won’t get any seedlings in his woodland strip because he has thin grass in there and cuts it on a regular basis, it might be that he won’t want them, but I can try! When our houses were built, the builder wanted to cut all the trees down for access, but the village protested, thank goodness, and now all the trees have a preservation order on them. I feel we have to do what we can to preserve our little strip of woodland. Good for you passing your oak on to someone who needed it, it’s the only way we can keep these beautiful huge, trees in our landscape.

  9. Alain says:

    Reading this makes me a bit nervous because we have a large elm just next to the house. Some elms in this area did not die of the Dutch elm disease and there are a few enormous ones. Fortunately, ours is still young (40?) and healthy but I wonder if it should not be cut now because if it dies after it has become bigger, it could mean big troubles.

    • Pauline says:

      Having any large trees is a responsibility Alain, but you are lucky to have an elm which is 40 odd years old. I thought they got attacked any time after they are 10 years old, so yours is doing very well. I really can’t say whether you ought to have it cut down now or not, that would be a shame, but I can appreciate the problems you will have later when it is taller,- on the other hand, it may not catch Dutch Elm disease if all the others in your area aren’t affected.

  10. Cathy says:

    I seem to be missing notification about your posts, Pauline -unless they are just hiding in a sea of emails!! What a shame to see this tree go, but it would soon have come down itself if left so at least it was done safely. I can certainly imagine the squirrels getting confused by its disappearance!

    • Pauline says:

      Cathy, it was a shame that the tree had to be cut down, the weekend it split it didn’t seem very windy, I suppose the damage was started previously when we had the last storm.
      The squirrels are so used to jumping from one tree to the other, so to have part of the treetop taken away must have been rather worrying for them, I’m sure they will adjust though!

  11. wellywoman says:

    Oh it’s awful seeing a tree come down. I couldn’t watch when we had our birch removed and I still miss it. There have been so many trees damaged this winter – it must have been one of the worst years for losing trees. At least the area is safe now but I’m sure it’ll be strange for quite a while to come without it there.

    • Pauline says:

      It was a sad day WW, when the tree came down. Quite a few have come down in the village over the winter, we hope there aren’t any more this year. I suppose we can say that more light will come through to the woodland floor, so small plants will benefit.

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