Sunday, 7 December 2014
This month's Tree Following post is completely different to the one I'd planned. I was going to explore the myths and folklore associated with my ash tree. The above picture contains a couple of clues to show why I abandoned my research.
Can you spot the taped off area and the ladder propped against my tree? The slideshow below shows you what happened next...
On November 17th my ash tree had visitors! After the tree's unexpected visit to VP Gardens last December, the local council decided the remainder of the tree was a potential safety hazard and commissioned a local firm of tree surgeons to give it a bit of a drastic trim.
The slideshow gives you a flavour of what happened. I apologise for the quality of some of the pictures, but it was a typical drizzly November's day. NAH and I hung out of our bedroom window watching what went on - judging by the tree surgeon's remarks, the trunk was quite slippery, so he was quite glad to be using crampons as well as all the ropes you can see.
It was interesting to see how he only cut part way through many of the branches, using the weight of the wood above to snap the rest of it through before lowering them to the ground for his assistant to carry them off. They took most of the wood away as ash is quite a valuable timber.
After an hour and a quarter's work all that remained was an eight foot high stump. It's supposed to regrow from the trunk that's left*, so we'll see if that happens next year. The stump of the limb cut off late last December didn't sport any regrowth, so it was interesting to see the tree surgeon took off another slice of wood, possibly to help stimulate regrowth from there?
This forms a drastic change to my garden even though the tree itself is on the public land next door. My shady border is now a shady no more border. Already I'm aware of a lot more light in the garden, even though we're in the gloomiest part of the year. A rethink of the side garden border plus the previously shaded part of the double terrace border beckons...
* my initial research for this post unearthed accounts of ash coppicing as its a useful timber for making various products. A recent edition of Countryfile showed ash being steamed for the making of a large garden rake. It's one of the most pliable of woods, so it's useful for making all kinds of tools and furniture as well as being one of the best for woodburning.
Have a look at Loose and Leafy to see how my fellow Tree Followers got on this month.