The Big One


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Things are about to get a bit exciting chez rusty duck.


You’ve seen this view many times, of course. But what I don’t think I’ve ever shown you before is the looming presence at the back of the terraces. And, indeed, above them.


For this we will need to step back a bit.


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Nope, it still doesn’t work.

I’ll have to move back still further and maybe even turn the camera around:


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It’s going to come down.


If only it were easy. We had toyed with the idea of felling this tree shortly after moving in, when the tree surgeons were here to remove 30 other conifers growing too close to the house. Those were big trees, but only a fraction of the size of this one. Money was even tighter then than it is now and, having just taken on a ‘new’ house, no shortage of other things needing to be done.

Mistake. Since then of course I’ve developed the terraces and there are expensive plants under that tree. To the other side it’s even worse. Yes there’s the drive and the turning circle, giving a small corridor of opportunity for the lumber to fall. It’s just that buried under the turning circle there’s about £10k’s worth of water treatment plant which of course wasn’t there either when we considered the job first time around.


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Now, however, the die has been cast.

In the shade of the enormous tree, aided and abetted by a series of exceptionally wet weather years, moss is starting to take hold on the roof.


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When the clumps of moss get heavy enough, or when an animal disturbs them, they fall to the ground. Along with a handful of rotting straw. If ever you doubted that Devon gets a lot of rain just look at the colour of that moss.. and that’s in July from a south facing slope.

Later in the year the thatcher will be back to ‘comb’ and repair the roof, but first the source of the problem needs to be addressed.


Not everyone will be best pleased..


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The woodpecker likes to sit at the very top of the tree. Although possibly not today because it’s a wee bit blowy!

He must get a cracking view from up there. It seems to be an especially good place for keeping an eye on the bird table and the peanut feeder in particular. Should my presence in the garden conflict with his mealtimes the cacophony of ear piercing chirps lets me know, in no uncertain terms, whose needs come first.

But there are other tall trees. The woodpeckers’ nest site lies much deeper in the wood. And as far as I can tell this tree has no permanent residents. We’re just waiting for a suitable break in the weather now.


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Wish us luck.


2017-10-24T19:32:43+00:00July 26th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Maggie Andrew July 26, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    We had some massive conifers cut down last year, when one of them fell , a very dazed looking barn owl flew out of It, it flew round the garden a couple if times then went and sat in another tree! Good luck

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Maggie and welcome.
      Oh no, poor owl! This tree has a very open structure and is fairly sparse, so I’m hoping there is nothing nestled within it. It also helps that we get a very good view into the tree from the bedroom window. I shall still be keeping everything crossed though.

  2. Backlane Notebook July 26, 2015 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    I do, I do wish you luck and I can see that it will make a huge and positive difference.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      The extra light is what I am looking forward to the most, for us and the plants!

  3. Jayne Hill July 26, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Yikes, “been there, done that” and I know exactly what a big job it is. Hopefully you have a tree surgeon who can take this down in “nibbles”.

    When we had a massive and diseased cherry removed, the guys went up (securely roped), and took the tree down from the top, limb by limb. Each limb was roped before cutting and men on the ground used ropes to swing the falling limb away from anywhere it could do damage. Once the trunk was reduced to a knobbly telegraph pole, it too was taken down in approximately one metre sections. Took a long time therefore cost more, but resulted in no collateral damage.

    You’ll be delighted when it is down and you have more light, more air circulating, and less risk to the thatch. Good luck 🙂

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      This method is exactly the one they will be using Jayne. It’ll take a couple of days apparently, but well worth the time spent.

  4. Pauline July 26, 2015 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    I’ll be thinking of you, that is a massive tree! The men should be able to bring it down without disturbing your plants on the terrace or the slope, it’s quite amazing how accurate they can be. What a difference it will make when it’s down, new planting possibilities?!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Definitely new planting possibilities! It isn’t a huge amount of new border in area, but it will enable me to properly tidy up the far end of the terraces.

  5. Justine July 26, 2015 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Hope all goes well. We are waiting for autumn to come round before having a large beech tree at the bottom of our garden removed; it’s lower limbs have a habit of resting on the Victorian brick wall which we fear will one day come toppling down if the tree isn’t removed 🙁

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

      Good luck with that too.. I was very worried about nests when we had our beech trees down, at least you won’t have that concern in autumn.

  6. Helen July 26, 2015 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    How exciting and nerve wrecking but you will be so pleased when it is done. The light levels will improve and also water retention. Looking forward to seeing the after photos

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks Helen. I remember you commenting on the extra light when your tree came down. I’m looking forward to getting that benefit here. And yes, it is VERY dry under the tree. At last the rain will reach the soil now.

  7. Julieanne July 26, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    I’ve been through this & know that a good tree surgeon should be able to take it down bit by bit so as not to affect anything around it. So your treatment plant should be safe. Good luck!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks Julieanne. They are very good, we had the same firm in to take the beech trees down at the end of the lawn. It should be OK..

  8. Rosie July 26, 2015 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Yes, I do wish you luck with this huge project. I hope all goes well on felling day. You can’t please all of the woodpeckers all of the time – you will miss the tree’s huge presence but the light will be wonderful and your lovely thatched roof will benefit too:)

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      I’m quite sure Woodrow will let us know his feelings on the matter. He’ll just have to perch on a different tree to do it! Thanks Rosie.

  9. Linda aka Crafty Gardener July 26, 2015 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    That will be a huge, huge project and it is hard to vision how it will come down … bit by bit? I’m sure once it is gone it will change the landscape dramatically.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:53 pm - Reply

      Bit by bit hopefully! I’m planning on doing a sequence of photos we can stitch together in a time-lapse.

  10. Freda July 26, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Oh I do wish you luck and a good tree surgeon! Good decision I’m sure Jessica.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      I hope so Freda. I love trees, but it’s a problem when they’re in the wrong place.

  11. lynngill July 26, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    We live in a south facing bungalow which the previous owner dealt with the sun’s glare by growing a succession of bushes and trees in front of the window – the day after we moved in we had a eucalyptus tree felled but then were left with stumps of previous ‘sun protection’ that had messed up with the soak away.

    Please take lots of photos so we can see how your tree surgeon deals with this challenge.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Lynn and welcome to rusty duck.
      I’m often left wondering “what were they thinking?” with some of the things I find. There is no accounting for what people do sometimes. Tree roots and drains are notorious, but fancy covering up the windows! There is a real feeling of achievement when you start to open things up isn’t there?

  12. hoov July 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Painfully expensive, but wise. A tree too close to a home is dangerous. How does it work there–do you store the cut-down tree on site to compost, or is it hauled away? Devon, not a huge threat of wildfire there, right?

    Here, believe it or not, what is expensive is disposal of the tree itself, done according to weight. The actually cutting is relatively inexpensive.

    OMG, your house is beautiful. But I’m sure I’ve said that before–hope it isn’t tiresome.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      We will be keeping the wood for firewood. Next job is to remove a wood burner and restore the original cottage open fireplace. In winter it is so comforting to have a fire as well as saving on oil bills. Nevertheless, I still dream of living somewhere it is warm in winter!!
      It’s rare that it gets tinder dry here, the risk of forest fire is relatively low. I hope. Our aim is to make this a very special place to live, one day. Thanks Hoov.

  13. Sue Garrett July 26, 2015 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    It looks like a fairy tale setting but I can see how much of a problem that tree could eventually cause. I wish you luck and hope the felling doesn’t cause damage. Will you wait ’till the leaves fall?

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      There are a few other jobs that depend on removing the tree so it needs to go now really. It’s a spruce, I learnt today, so evergreen in any case. It is quite sparse and there are some dead branches. It’s not in tip top condition. The weather recently makes me feel autumn has arrived already!

  14. AnnetteM July 26, 2015 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Oh dear, that sounds expensive: both the tree and the thatch. It is amazing, too, how much you miss a tree when it comes down, but not for long. You soon appreciate the light and the space. We have taken down quite a few trees from our garden, but thankfully none as large as yours. Good luck.
    One day I will post a photo of the clumps of moss on our roof – and no overhanging trees either! Thankfully we are slate and not thatch, but we should probably remove them.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      The wrens discovered the moss this year and have been doing an excellent removal job on the tiled roof above the kitchen. There must be a whole load of bugs under there! Regrettably they’ve also started stripping it off the stone troughs I have for alpines, I quite liked it there!

  15. Glenda July 26, 2015 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Good Luck,I think we have all been there and a great tree fellow can put it exactly where he wants,and the bright side is more planting area for you. Again good luck????

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Glenda and welcome!
      I’m looking forward to the extra planting space. It is amazing how much a large tree canopy takes out.

  16. Cheryl West July 26, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Best of luck to you. You will have some lovely open space and much less worry for your roof.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Cheryl. Thatched roofs are quaint but hugely expensive to maintain. The longer we can put off that bill the better!

  17. Em July 26, 2015 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Can I come? Xx

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      Bring a hard hat. There are bits flying all over the place in this wind..

  18. Denise July 26, 2015 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Primrose and Camilla want to know if the lumberjacks…er, tree surgeons will be particularly buff, and also will they be working on a very hot day? If so, they would be pleased to provide both plenty of lemonade and a shirt holding service. (Honestly, I can’t take them anywhere!)

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      Hot day? HOT day?
      Oh, I remember them. Weren’t they the days when the umbrella for the patio table actually came out of the shed instead of just sitting in there providing a home for the spiders? 😉

  19. Donna@Gardens Eye View July 26, 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Yes when the trees start to damage the house they have to go…we have been leaving 6-8 ft tall snags instead of getting rid of them completely…then we can use them for vines and the birds can use them for nesting.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      That’s a good idea. This tree is going completely but we do need more places for climbers. Other than sending them up trees there is nowhere much.

  20. Mark and Gaz July 26, 2015 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    It’s a beautiful tree but it has to go, will bring lots of benefits. Good luck!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 3:24 pm - Reply

      We agonised over it, but in the end there was no real choice.

  21. 1gus1 July 26, 2015 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Good luck – it will certainly be worth the chewed nails and emptying pockets . . .

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      Extreme gardening has left me bereft of nails anyway but pockets are definitely emptying..

  22. Denise July 26, 2015 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Always sorry to see a grand old tree go, but it sounds like you’ve analyzed the situation from all angles. Huge trees close to houses will always be problematic. We removed a similarly situated pine when we moved in here. Fingers crossed that it all goes without a hitch.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      Thanks Denise. I’m surprised this one was left to grow as tall as it did but there you go.

  23. Jean Campbell July 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Better that it comes down intentionally by professional tree people than hit by lightning or high wind to bring it down. Jayne Hill’s description of how tree men take down a huge tree is what I envision: Care with thought to surroundings. It will be interesting to see what opens up.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      Yes, in high wind it is scary having such a big tree so close. But at one time there were 30 others on the uphill slope behind the house. The wind whistling through those really made me shudder.

  24. pbmgarden July 26, 2015 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    That looks like quite a job. Hope it all goes smoothly. How will the extra light affect your plants?

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      The lower branches are quite high so I could get away with sun lovers underneath. I have spotted one epimedium that will probably need shifting though. In general the whole of that end of the terraces will benefit enormously. Many plants are leaning over at an angle away from the tree. With it gone I hope they will straighten themselves up.

  25. CJ July 26, 2015 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Oh my, that’s a tree and a half. Wishing you good luck with the removal. You’ll have a lot of wood to play with! CJ xx

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm - Reply

      Lots of roaring fires come the winter.. thanks CJ.

  26. Simone July 26, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Timberrrrrrrrrrrrrrr……………………………….!!! Good luck Jessica! x

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Eeeek.. there’s talk of three inch sections so probably less dramatic!

  27. mattb325 July 26, 2015 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    Gosh – that’s a decent sized tree alright! It’s such an expensive exercise but fingers crossed that there is only a little damage to the plants below. The tree-fellers are usually fairly accurate, especially when there is a house so close by!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      It’s going to leave quite a gap when the tree is gone. If all the debris goes in the direction of the drive we should be OK. Most of what is under there I want to clear anyway. It’s the branches that overhang the terraces that cause me the most worry.

  28. Kris P July 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    I hope it goes smoothly, Jessica, and trust that you’ll keep us apprised. I was very impressed by the tree service that took down our 60 foot (18 meter) Eucalyptus tree. It took an entire day, including grinding down the stump. The tree guys were remarkably good at avoiding damage to the plants below. The impact on the garden had less to do with the direct ramifications of their work than with dramatic increase in sun exposure on that side of the house. More than 2 years later, I’m still struggling to adjust my plant selections in that area.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      The sun exposure issue may well be the most dramatic change here too. I don’t know that I’ll have to move too much around, but there may be a temporary scorching issue where the shade cover is suddenly and dramatically removed. This assumes that we do indeed get more sun, difficult to believe from the weather here at the moment. Maybe I’ll have to go out with the Factor 50 spray if it comes to it!

  29. Sam July 26, 2015 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Good luck Jessica. I’m sure that’s going to make a huge improvement, even though it’ll be expensive. Look forward to seeing the after shots!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sam, I hope so.

  30. woolythymes July 27, 2015 at 1:07 am - Reply

    deep breath! good luck!!!!!!!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      Several deep breaths!

  31. casa mariposa July 27, 2015 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Good idea! It looks out of place, like a tall skinny giant hiding in a line of school kids.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      I remember when we had the first lot of trees down, the house seemed suddenly to sit more comfortably in its setting. I’m sure the same thing will happen again.

  32. Cumbrian July 27, 2015 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Lot of firewood.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 6:05 pm - Reply

      A lot is needed. Especially if it is true that El Nino will give us a cold winter. Current stockpile will be rapidly depleted.

  33. annamadeit July 27, 2015 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Wow, that is a big undertaking… but like Jean said – better a planned removal than accidentally by wind or lightning. Best of luck to you!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anna.

  34. Brian Skeys July 27, 2015 at 7:16 am - Reply

    We all wish we had done something before which is now going to be either more expensive or difficult to do. It does seem to be very important with thatch to have plenty of air circulation, a cottage near us, with new owners, has just had two large conifers removed.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      We’ve had two thatchers around and both have drawn attention to the problem, plus the surveyor. You’re right Brian. Although I am already in mourning for the tree. It should have been taken down many years ago.

  35. threadspider July 27, 2015 at 7:19 am - Reply

    I’m waving farewell to that conifer already. Much better when it’s gone and you’ll enjoy watching a good tree surgeon take it down bit by bit. Just had one down here too. Took less than an hour from tree to log pile!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      They grow so big so quickly. We are suffering the legacy of the 80s (?) when conifers were so fashionable. Even the supposedly ‘dwarf’ ones grew huge.

  36. Joanne July 27, 2015 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Oh I hope it goes well for you, the very best of luck! x

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks Joanne.

  37. Jacqueline July 27, 2015 at 8:00 am - Reply

    I’m always sad when a tree has to go but it is necessary sometimes, isn’t it Jessica ? A big tree and a big job but I’m sure that it will go smoothly …. they know what they’re doing. Does this mean that Burncoose and the like will make more money out of you ?!!!!!! XXXX

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

      Yes, it is sad. I feel for the tree and really wish it had been growing just a bit further from the house. Buy more plants? Surely not…!!
      (I’m planning a white border 🙂 )

  38. Marian July 27, 2015 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Pity for the tree but I completely understand what you’re saying and also about not having it taken down at first. It is so expensive to have a huge tree taken down.We have three huge willow trees in our (rather small) garden but having those taken down would cost so much, not something we can do right now. It would give more light and sun into the garden but the trees would be missed as well and since the light and shade aren’t the only issue with the garden, there’s also the soil that would have to be changed, the cost of changing the garden is just too much right now, especially with three students. That’s where all our money goes to and if we’d have a little to spare, I’d first choose to have a real vacation and go on a trip for at least a week(instead of just a weekend as we’ve been doing the last few years). So those trees, they will stay for a while longer. When there’s so much wind as today I do often hold my breath though but willows are pretty bendy I’ve noticed. Lots of broken off twigs on the grass already but sofar so good.
    I wish you luck with this huge project, hope the bringing down of the tree won’t bring too much damage to all the beauty you’ve created around and under it already. That would be such a shame and really heartbreaking for you and all the work you’ve put into it already. Your home and garden are so pretty! Love the thatched roof!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Tree removal is expensive work, which is the reason we have had to wait so long. But a decaying roof would cost more, so it’s a no-brainer now. Holidays have had to wait too. We take days out and have a nice lunch somewhere special but it would be very good indeed to have a proper break. I hope we both achieve it sometime soon! Thanks Marian.

  39. Jenny July 27, 2015 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Eek, good luck! I’m sure tree surgeons are good at aiming trees into small places – just don’t pick a windy day.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      It’s not ideal weather at the moment is it! But it seems tree surgeons are made of stern stuff.

  40. sustainablemum July 27, 2015 at 10:24 am - Reply

    That is a very big tree! Lots of free firewood tho’ should you have a need for such.

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      Yes, plenty of need. The tree won’t go to waste.

  41. Caro July 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    The perils of living in a woodland setting! I hope it all goes well, Jessica – no doubt you’ll let us all know, we’ll be agog for your news! Do you have log burning fires indoors? You won’t run out of wood this winter!

    • Jessica July 27, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      The next job is to reinstate the open fire in the sitting room. We’ve got a pile of seasoned wood ready for this year, the wood from the tree will replace it so we’ll now have a good store for years to come as well.

  42. Linda July 27, 2015 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Having had tree work done in a fully developed garden, I sympathize. Loved seeing this fuller view of your property because it shows us what real life is like at your house.

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 8:12 am - Reply

      I remember when you had a big tree down fairly recently and the tree surgeons did a great job! I’m sure they have a huge amount of expertise and know just what they are doing, but in future we’ll look at the trees before developing a garden. Far less stressful!

  43. kate@barnhouse July 27, 2015 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Good luck and good post – you’re quite right to point out problems arise from the wrong trees being planted in the wrong place. We inherited a ring of looming ancient ‘champion’ conifers on an upward slope just metres from the house, I imagine they might have been ex Christams trees. Will you keep any log slices etc as a momento?

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 8:20 am - Reply

      Oh goodness, if they’re ‘champion’ trees does that mean they have to stay? When we had conifers in a similar position I held my breath every time the wind blew, they sway so much. I wasn’t thinking of keeping any log slices but that is how they propose cutting the lower trunk, so I’ll see if there are any nice ones.

      • kate@barnhouse July 29, 2015 at 11:58 am - Reply

        Luckily not! We sleep easier now they’re gone while enjoying the huge silvered log slices as ‘ornaments’ and tables around the garden ….

        • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:36 pm - Reply

          I’ve been looking at some of those log slices today and wondering how I could use them. They seem too good to give away or burn. A table is a great idea.

  44. elaine July 27, 2015 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Good luck – I think you’re gonna need it. But just think how different the view will be!

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 8:22 am - Reply

      A total transformation I think. The tree has such a huge presence.

  45. Jo July 27, 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    That’s a huge undertaking and I’m sure once it’s down it will alter the look of the garden completely. Good luck, hope it all goes well.

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 8:24 am - Reply

      I want to radically alter the far end of the terraces, prune back the overgrown shrubs and do some new planting. It should look much better. Thanks Jo.

  46. Amy at love made my home July 27, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    My goodness that is a very large tree to have growing so close to the house. I hope that the removal goes well and that it will make a big difference to the garden and the house and thatch! xx

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 8:26 am - Reply

      It’s about two and a half times the height of the house and less than six feet away. Crazy.

  47. frayed at the edge July 27, 2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Many years ago, my Dad planted two “dwarf conifers”. When they got to the stage of blocking out all light at the back of his house, threatening to damage the phone wire, and seriously annoying his neighbours, I arranged for tree surgeons to cut them down. He was so delighted when they came down that he paid them extra!!

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 10:02 am - Reply

      I remember planting those ‘dwarf’ conifers too and watching them grow afterwards. Dreadful things.

  48. Sarah July 27, 2015 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Good Luck I hope it all goes well and not too many plants are destroyed. We had a eucalyptus taken out last week I wanted to wait until the autumn because of the fear of damaging some of my plants but they were so professional and no plants were damaged in the process! Sarah x

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 10:04 am - Reply

      That sounds like a wise move, eucalyptus can grow huge as well. Glad all your plants survived.

  49. snowbird July 27, 2015 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Gosh….what an undertaking! I’m sure all will go well and the new view will be lovely, and much lighter!xxx

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 10:05 am - Reply

      It is the light I am looking forward to most! Thanks snowbird.

  50. Alain July 28, 2015 at 12:57 am - Reply

    We have a good size elm next to the house (3 feet away?). We hope that like a few gigantic elms in the neighborhood it is immune to the Dutch elm disease. The moment it shows signs of problems, it will have to go (and it will be expensive).

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 10:08 am - Reply

      I love the idea of trees close to the house, but they’re not always so practical. It’s such a shame for our spruce. In another location it would have made a lovely and very elegant feature. Good luck with your tree too, I hope it remains healthy.

  51. Beth @ PlantPostings July 28, 2015 at 2:38 am - Reply

    Wow, that will be quite a change! Usually, I’m sad to see a tree fall, but in this case, it sounds like a necessity. People safety first. Can’t believe all that moss on the roof! Good luck!

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Yes, there is plenty of moss. The whole roof takes on a green tinge after a lot of rain, but the lumpy moss in the shade of the tree is a real problem because it doesn’t dry out so quickly, causing the straw underneath to rot.

  52. Glenna July 28, 2015 at 4:29 am - Reply

    Good luck, from Alabama!!! 🙂

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Hi Glenna. Thank you and welcome! I hope it is warmer in Alabama than here, I’m quite sure it is.

      • Glenna July 28, 2015 at 8:59 pm - Reply

        Indeed, it is ver warm. 97 degrees Fahrenheit with a heat index of 102! 🙂

        • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:11 pm - Reply

          Ooh, that’s a bit too warm! Take care. Only about 60F here, but hopefully getting warmer at the weekend. Needs to.. !

  53. Linda P July 28, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Cutting that tree down will make all the difference in various ways. You know what to expect from the tree surgeons. Hope it won’t be too expensive on the pocket, but it’ll be worth it.

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 10:16 am - Reply

      It will be worth it. We could easily have them in for a month if we could afford it, there’s so much to do. But we’ll pace it and do a little more each year.

  54. Mrs GH. July 28, 2015 at 10:58 am - Reply

    At some point in the future it’s worth remembering when you come to burn logs, that spruce or any ‘fir’ type tree coats the inside of your chimney with an ambery coloured resin over time which becomes a great fire ignition risk. Not good in a thatched house. Ground up resin is sold as a fire lighter for wild camping! Just a kind thought for you.

    • Jessica July 28, 2015 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      That’s good to know. Thanks for the warning Pats.

  55. ginaferrari July 28, 2015 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Gosh, that is quite an undertaking… Good luck!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks. Couldn’t put it off any longer!

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