Let There Be Light

Don’t get me wrong. I love trees.

We bought a wood after all. But, as I’ve mentioned before, this one has got a little out of control.

First up then, a group of about 25 lanky conifers growing way too close to the house. Almost touching the roof in fact. Watching them sway in the wind was alarming enough. But the trees were also restricting air circulation to the detriment of the thatch. Our surveyor said they must go.

Three chainsaws fired up. Shattering the rural peace.

As you might expect from professional tree fellers, these guys’ equipment was at the macho end. Mike looked on enviously. The saw that we had purchased from our predecessor for 50 quid, bearing a brand name we had never heard of, didn’t cut the mustard. Thankfully it was under wraps in the shed.

Starting from the bottom of each tree, branches were sliced off a few inches out from the main trunk. They made it look easy. Using the ‘ladder’ thus created, the men worked their way up. At the top of the tree, a rope got attached.

Back on the ground one man worked the saw while two hauled on the rope, the trickiest part of the manoeuvre. A tree in freefall, down a 45 degree slope with a house at the bottom, is not an overly appealing thought. Enough to send Mike off to examine the small print on the insurance policy.

“Take the strain…”

“Hold it, hold it….”

“Whoa, to the left, TO THE LEFT….”

“Watch that wire… TELEPHONE WIRE… whooOOOah..”

No question when the trunk hit the ground – the whole place shook.

It took three days. Together with a few odd trees leaning across the drive, and an old oak stump in the middle of the lawn, 30 trees came down. Happily, we disturbed only one (old) nest. A set of fairy lights turned up. Plus a few old scaffolding bolts, now well and truly rusted. A couple of apple trees, discovered deep within the dense conifer thicket, may yet survive with a bit of clever pruning.

But what a transformation. A previously dark and dingy hollow is now full of light with a wonderful view over the surrounding hills.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s sufficient wood to keep us in log fires for many years to come.


Let There Be Light

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