Sunday, January 3, 2016

Felling three large trees

Three large trees are too close to the homestead for comfort. And, sadly, they have to go.

A 45-foot-tall oak – a beautifully shaped tree – stands about 20 feet from the house. You see it coming up the drive as soon as you enter the yard.

But some of its longer branches now overhang the house. While it takes a lot to bring down oak branches – they are incredibly robust trees – it still leaves us feeling uncomfortable.

We’ve already had one narrow escape from  tree in the yard. When we moved in, the first tree you saw when coming up the drive was a 40-foot ash tree which split into three trunks about three feet from the ground.

Of course, as the trunks grew up they leaned outwards, away from the centre of the tree. And all the branches from he trunks grew outwards too, away from the tree towards the light. There was little light available to feed branches growing inwards, toward the other two trunks.

This put all the weight on the outside of the tree and which started to pull the three trunks further and further out from the centre.

Waking up after one stormy night we realised the kitchen was quite dark. The top 20 feet had been blown off the trunk nearest to the house.

But we were incredibly lucky. It had landed in the 90o angle formed by the kitchen and the entrance hall jutting out next to it, missing the walls and roof by inches. The only damage was the breaking of one end bracket on the uPVC guttering. We breathed a sigh of relief. As did our insurance company.

The other two trunks were promptly taken down, exposed as they  were to winds they had previously been sheltered from. 

And now, rather than ride our luck again, I not only ave to fell the 45-foot oak but also a 40-foot ash and an oak of similar size which are growing in a raised bed next to the yard. 

They would crush the cars if they fell on them and their roots are not wide-spread enough to support trees of that height. In addition to that, they back on to other larger trees and so, once again, are growing out towards the light – and the yard and cars.

I'll say my goodbyes to the ash first. The oaks are on borrowed time