Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tree Surgery

Our side boundary borders several fields. The trees on the hedge have grown like mad this year due to the heat wave in April then an entire summer of rain. My office window looks out onto the fields. Well, it would if the view hadn't been reduced to a small gap between a thickly-leafed oak branch on one side and a massive holly bush on the other. We had planned to get a local tree surgeon in to cut everything back.  But because of the weather he's way behind on work already booked, plus there was no access for his machinery.  So we talked it over and decided to do it ourselves.  Whatever happened to my quiet writing life? My unofficial Christmas deadline?
Anyway, after lunch Mike made a start. Using a ladder and a bow saw he managed to take the top and side branches off the oak tree.  The branch obscuring my window came down about six inches from the glass.  (See first picture)  After I got back from the mobile library van and we'd had a cup of tea I put on my overalls (I have my own pair after I got soaked and filthy helping to bag up seaweed for the allotment – but that's another story) and clambered over the hedge into the fields.
Apart from that one huge branch, he had managed to drop the others into the field.  I used secateurs with two-foot-long handles and jaws like a shark to cut everything into short lengths.  I built up a pile in the field about twenty feet in diameter and about seven feet high.
The following morning Mike finished cutting back and I did the last of the chopping up. Then he threw armfuls up to me on the hedge and, clinging to a strand of barbed wire, I jumped up and down on it. (Not elegant, but very effective) We managed to lose the entire pile in the gap between our stone hedge and the brambles forming a barrier in the field.   Just we finished at 11.30am the drizzle started.  We had timed it perfectly.  Sweaty and exhausted I clambered back into our garden.  After a shower I went out to my office, pulled up the blind and  looked out onto a panoramic view worth every scratch, ache and blister. 

Jane Jackson.


Aanda said...

That must be so satisfying. We did a similar thing with an overgrown patch and although it was hard work, it was well worth it. And you have a lovely view - perfect for letting the imaginations wander.

Erin Kane Spock said...

These projects seem easy in theory and always take more work than anyone anticipated. I'm glad it went well for you. Beautiful view.

Jane Jackson said...

Thanks for your comments, Aanda and Erin. It really was worth the hard work, not just for the lovely view, but the hilarious antics of a pair of courting pheasants! And in about six weeks' time the fields will be a blaze of yellow as all the daffodil bulbs come into flower.

Elizabeth Hawksley said...

I loved the idea of you jumping up and down to flatten the pile, Jane - a sort of do-it-yourself trampoline.

And the view is wonderful. I'm most impressed that you are expecting daffodils in about six weeks' time. I hope you'll post a photo of them when the time comes.

Jane Jackson said...

Elizabeth, my foliage flattening has to be seen to be believed!
Our Cornish daffs can arrive in December in sheltered corners. As the fields are south-facing we should get flowers by January. I will definitely post photos.

Anonymous said...

Trees can be a right pain sometimes, they look brilliant and they add something different to a garden but when they become overgrown, it becomes an issue. We have two in front garden but luckily we live next door to a tree surgeon! So whenever, things get a bit too much, we ask Mark from next door who brings his access platform back from work and gives our trees a quick trim. We always offer to pay him, but he's too nice to accept, in the end we normally get him a bottle of wine.

Mandy said...

This is an interesting post and informative. It must be an inspiration for the tree surgeons for me. And thank you for sharing..
Local Tree Surgeons in London.

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