How’s Your Head For Heights?


Tree Felling 017 Wm[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=


I couldn’t watch.

Actually I did watch, most of the day in fact. But there were times when I held my breath..


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There goes the woodpecker’s favourite perch..

I’m delighted to report Woodrow was back on the feeder this morning, regardless.


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Don’t you wish you were a tree surgeon? Nope, me neither.

Respect mate.


I really must snip off those dead foxglove stems or they’ll seed all over.


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At one point the chain saw got stuck in the tree and a grin spread across Mike’s face from ear to ear. You’ll recall we’ve seen that story before (here), but it’s heartening to know that it happens to the professionals too. Another saw had to be winched up the trunk to cut the first one out!


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Look, no hands..

Each section was roped as it was cut and gently lowered to the ground, away from the borders and well clear of the water treatment plant.


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Me King Kong


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Nearer to the ground the easiest way was to toss the sections of tree trunk away. Accuracy was key. Unbelievably, each one landed within a few square feet..


We’re still having serious problems with broadband, just a few minutes here and there before it goes again. There’s no mobile signal in the valley so I can’t use that route either. Many thanks for all your comments, I will respond, even if only a couple at a time! 


2017-10-24T19:32:43+00:00July 28th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Linda July 28, 2015 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    TIMBER !!!
    Oh my….excellent post Jessica!
    Sad to see it go…..but….what a way to go!
    I think you will be very pleased with the results!
    Hope you are having a great summer…we are HOT!
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

      I wish we were hot! There have been a couple of nice days but mostly cool and wet so far. Better for working in the garden I suppose…!
      Thanks Linda.

  2. Pauline July 28, 2015 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Amazing! You must have so much more light now, it’s wonderful to watch professionals at work, they make it all look so easy!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 11:22 am - Reply

      It is fascinating watching them work, they seem totally fearless although obviously they are securely roped to the tree!

  3. Jacqueline July 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    I don’t know how they do it …… we had some branches that had broken in the high winds a couple of months ago and they looked just like your guys. I was on tenterhooks until they had finished !!!! I’m sure that copious amounts of tea and biccys were supplied by you ?!!
    Your thatched roof must be breathing a sigh of relief !! XXXX

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 11:25 am - Reply

      The roof is looking better already. Now all we need is a bit of sunshine to crisp up that moss!

  4. Indie July 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Woah! I was a camp counselor one summer and helped out with the high ropes course one week. It’s not good when the counselor is just as scared as the campers! 🙂 Heights are definitely not my thing. It looks fun to watch though! Impressive!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

      No, they’re not my thing either! Kudos to those who can do it. I would be hopeless as a counselor, I don’t like water either..

  5. Julieanne July 28, 2015 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Looks like they are doing a great job. I’m so impressed with the skill of tree surgeons etc. Do you already feel there is so much more light?

    Me King Kong – LOL

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 11:31 am - Reply

      The light is incredible now. The whole of that side of the garden has opened up, and given me a brand new border to clear out and plant.

  6. justjilluk July 28, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply


    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 11:32 am - Reply


  7. Rosie July 28, 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Rather them than me! What an excellent job they have done and glad to hear Woodrow still visits the feeders. I expect it will take a while to get used to the space and the light:)

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 11:38 am - Reply

      It does feel rather odd. I miss the tree, but it was the best thing to do I think. The birds have come back although the dawn chorus is a bit further away now!

  8. Mark and Gaz July 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    They’re such a skilled lot aren’t they? Wow!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Very much so, when I think how we struggled with specimens a fraction of the size. They make it look so easy.

  9. AnnetteM July 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    That tree looks so much taller in today’s photos. I am impressed with those guys.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 6:41 pm - Reply

      The pile of logs is fairly impressive too. We have a ‘heap’ back!

  10. sustainablemum July 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    My husband trains people to be able to do that…………sometimes up much higher structures! Amazing pictures glad it came down safely 🙂

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      There was a severe weather warning on Monday for wind. Luckily it is sheltered in the valley, but it still must have been quite breezy at the top of the tree. Good view though!

  11. kate@barnhouse July 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    What an amazing series of images, hats off to professional tree gangs!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      Absolutely. Made me dizzy just watching them.

  12. Alison July 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    I had some trees trimmed a few years ago and it was fun to watch. I was so glad it wasn’t me. They yelled something as they tossed bits and pieces down. It will be so nice for you to not have to be concerned about that big tree now.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      Trees get so big so quickly in our wet climate. It is surprising how much our little clearing has closed in in just a few years. Will need to keep on top of it now.

  13. Simone July 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    A carefully executed job. I wouldn’t want to do it! What will you do with all the logs? x

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Some of them are going to friends and some we’ll keep for firewood, although the log pile was getting quite big already..

  14. annincumbria July 28, 2015 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    I could hear the collective sigh of relief from the house, the garden, Mike and you all the way up here in Cumbria

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      It is a big relief to have it safely down. Now there’s just a huge clear up operation. At one point it felt like it was snowing with all the sawdust. And as it was quite breezy it has spread all over the garden.

  15. Sue July 28, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Yep … I’m always amazed when we get the tree surgeons in. They make it look so easy, the last guy that did some work for us was like a little monkey, I swear if it wasn’t for H&S regulations he would have simply run up the trees without any gear.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      They do seem to have a natural altheticism but I’m told it is easy when you’ve been practising for years. Having never been especially light on my feet I know what would happen if I tried.

  16. Anna July 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Aaaaaaaaaaagh! I couldn’t watch Jessica but would be listening out with heart in mouth. As you say respect!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      It was actually easier watching. All the yells and thuds without knowing what was happening.. the imagination can go into overdrive.

  17. Sarah Shoesmith July 28, 2015 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Wow – what fab photos of some major surgery. Pleased to hear that Woodrow is still visiting.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      I’ve just heard him chirping and tried to work out where his new perch is. I do know it’s a lot further away! But at least he has returned to the feeder. And more good news… we haven’t seen a squirrel for the last three days!!

  18. Christina July 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Wow! Great job, what fantastic guys. you must treasure them now you’ve found them. A job very well done.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      I’m relieved it’s done! So much has been put off waiting for it.. not much point planting anything that might have a bit of tree fall on it. I can get on now.

  19. pollymacleod July 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    WOW, those guys are brilliant. It looks so good with all that light now. I’m glad Woodrow has found another perch. Don’t forget the foxgloves!! 🙂

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      No, I looked at them again today. Tomorrow I shall not just look but also go and get the secateurs.

  20. Denise July 28, 2015 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Heavens to Murgatroyd, as the Funky Phantom might say! Are you keeping the logs for the woodburner?

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      We’re keeping some of them. With the work that was done earlier in the year as well I don’t think we’ll run out anytime soon.

  21. Rosemary July 28, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    The tree looks very flimsy from a distance, but close up I can see it was substantial – it is no wonder that when I watch the A & E programme there are often tree surgeons rushed in by ambulance.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      They were certainly swaying about a bit. I would just freeze.

  22. homeslip July 28, 2015 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    You have sky (albeit cloudy today)! It has already made a huge difference, you must be delighted with the job so far. What was it? Someone’s Christmas tree they decided to plant outside the back door?

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      There are a few dotted around the wood so maybe it arose naturally. It’s certainly been growing a good few years. I can’t believe anyone would be so stupid as to plant that sort of tree so close to a building, but you never know do you.

  23. Kris P July 28, 2015 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    It ‘s made a big difference already. I look forward to seeing the after photos.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      It surprises me afresh each time I go outside. It takes a while to get used to the absence doesn’t it?

  24. Amy at love made my home July 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Jeepers gleepers!!!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply


  25. lynngill July 28, 2015 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I can hardly believe how thick the trunk of the tree is/was.

    They certainly earned their wages taking the tree down – thanks for taking all those actions shots.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      The tree had split into four separate trunks about ten feet up. The lower trunk was just enormous, it was removed in three inch slices. A lot of sawdust!

  26. Sarah July 28, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    It looks so tall and it must have been amazing to watch! Glad the weather looked ok too. You have to admire their skill and sense of adventure! Sarah x

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Sense of adventure definitely. Until they turned up we weren’t sure the job would go ahead. We had rain and a severe weather warning for wind! But luckily it is quite sheltered in the valley and the wet stuff came in short showers. It could have been worse.

  27. Sue Garrett July 28, 2015 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Monkey up a stick comes to mind

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply


  28. Dorothy/The Nature of Things. July 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I watched a similar operation a few years ago when we had drought here and many old pine trees died. This particular tree in my neighbor’s yard was well over 100 feet tall and it took the workers all afternoon to take it down. It was mesmerizing and sometimes my heart was in my mouth, but the guy in the tree never hesitated.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      It’s clever how they do it.. cutting off the branches in a way that forms a ladder, taking out the trunk on the way back down.

  29. Freda July 28, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply


    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Rather them than me..

  30. mattb325 July 28, 2015 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    They’re a breed unto themselves, those tree surgeons! I certainly haven’t a head for it, especially when it is so close to a building. So many new planting possibilities now 🙂

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Yep. It gives me a chance to look again at the far end of the terraces, as soon as we’ve cleared away all the sawdust!

  31. studiohyde July 28, 2015 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Oh My!!!

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


  32. elaine July 29, 2015 at 6:59 am - Reply

    Amazing pictures – professional tree surgeons are a joy to watch.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:04 pm - Reply

      No fear! Not sure I could do it.

  33. bumbleandme July 29, 2015 at 7:35 am - Reply

    Congratulations! Those photos are amazing! You’re so brave taking them, and not a blur in sight! I’d have been shaking like a leaf.

    I bet the difference in terms of space, light etc. is amazing. And what to do with all that wood????

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      There is a lot of wood. But the difference is quite amazing, the light inside the house as well. The first thing we had to do was clean the windows, light coming through suddenly highlights all the dirt!!

  34. Chloris July 29, 2015 at 8:28 am - Reply

    It is always sad to see a tree go but how fantastic to have all that light. Those tree surgeons are amazing they should get a job with Cirque du Soleil.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      I should maybe take lessons. Give the squirrels a run for their money.

  35. frayed at the edge July 29, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

    I love the photo where he looks as if he is doing the splits! I would have spent the whole day watching too – I do like seeing experts at work. I know what you mean about the foxgloves – it took us years to eradicate them for the garden we had in the 90s ….. proving the saying that one year’s seeding is seven years weeding!!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      The seeds are so small they really do get everywhere. They even grow in the roof, so I really must stop them this year.

  36. serendipity July 29, 2015 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Very impressive. it must be so much lighter now.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      The difference is quite incredible. The plants that were used to a lot more shade are getting quite a shock.

  37. Jayne Hill July 29, 2015 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Respect indeed 🙂 Brilliant to see all the photos, remind me of some of our tree surgeon sessions.

    Does Mike now need to build a new log store, and can we see a photo of what must be a huge pile of timber? That’s an awful lot of wood you’ve got there. If anyone tells you that Leylandii/Conifer types don’t burn just smile at them and walk away – once seasoned our leylandii burns extremely well, but hot and fast, nothing like putting on oak and watching it smoulder all evening. Because it burns so hot, every summer when the flue is swept there’s virtually no soot and no oily residue gunking things up.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      A log store is definitely on the list of jobs and we took a photo of the pile this evening. If the wood burns very hot I’d be worried about the roof. That is the reason wood burners are not recommended with thatch.. it’s the intensity of heat which builds up in the chimney stack as it passes through the straw. Can cause spontaneous combustion!

      • Jayne Hill July 30, 2015 at 9:02 am - Reply

        Ooops . . . as you can tell, I have no experience of thatch. Given what you’ve said then maybe the timber is not such a good thing after all. With ours, it was horrible to handle in the first year constantly oozing resin. 18 months later it’s light, dry and burns brilliantly (in a WBS). Doesn’t spit or crackle. Clearly there’s a lot of heat in the chimney because (according to the guys who clean it every year) we never have any tar deposits or gunk and very little soot.

        • Jessica July 31, 2015 at 2:39 pm - Reply

          Having the chimney swept every year is a good idea, essential for us because it’s a condition of the insurance. It means that we can keep an eye on the gunk and soot build up too. The guy we normally use is very knowledgeable, I’ll ask him about the advisability, or not, of burning conifer wood.

  38. Jayne Hill July 29, 2015 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Oh, forgot to ask – more light in that side of the house??

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      A lot more light. It’ll be even more evident in winter when the sun is lower and no longer blocked out by the tree.

  39. Sigrun July 29, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Oh my goodness – my heart! Very professional, the man!


    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Yes, scary to watch!

  40. kate@barnhouse July 29, 2015 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Sympathy with the broadband … We live in a black hole here, best signal is leaning out the bedroom window!

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      I have to walk to the top of the hill. I’ve posted sitting in the car in the garage before now..

  41. Linda from Each Little World July 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Those are the most amazing pruning pix I’ve ever seen. Wow!! No need to respond.

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      We seem to be on a roll, I’ve had broadband all evening.. better not say it too loud.

  42. Amy July 29, 2015 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    YYYikes! Here’s hoping thinning out the woods will slow down the squirrels a little 😉 I feel for your broadband problems – the perils of rural life… Although I think some of my problems are due to my aging laptop…

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      I sympathise with the ageing laptop. Mike has got so fed up with hearing me complain about it I think he’s almost reached the tipping point now.
      It’s a funny thing, we were remarking this afternoon that we haven’t seen a squirrel in three days. I’m sure they’ll be back once things quieten down a bit (literally!). But they’ll get a shock if they try for their old escape route up the tree..

  43. CJ July 29, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Oh wow, what a fun job. I think I’ve just found my son’s dream employment. I daren’t show him! So you didn’t take the opportunity to shin up yourself and have a go..? CJ xx

    • Jessica July 29, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Ah yes, I do recall that your son likes to climb a tree or two.
      And… no.

  44. lowcarbdiabeticJan July 29, 2015 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    Wow, not having a good head for heights … this is amazing.

    Sorry to hear about your lack of broadband signal.

    Enjoy the rest of your week.

    All the best Jan

    • Jessica July 31, 2015 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Jan. I have no head for heights at all.. watching it was quite hard!

  45. snowbird July 30, 2015 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Those chaps certainly are something!!! I do admire them! Always sad to lose mature tree

    • Jessica July 31, 2015 at 2:36 pm - Reply

      It was sad to lose the tree, I honestly don’t think we had a choice. But in four days of work over the spring and summer we didn’t disturb a single nest, as far as I know.

  46. Mike @ A Bit About Britain July 30, 2015 at 8:57 am - Reply

    You wouldn’t get me up there; I get dizzy changing light bulbs. Excellent photos!

    • Jessica July 31, 2015 at 2:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mike. You and me both.

  47. hb July 30, 2015 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    I think a tree surgeon in the UK just went out and bought himself something really nice. ;^)

    I like to watch them here, trimming the neighbor’s towering Eucs and Palms. I enjoy the show, the neighbors pay the bill.

    • Jessica July 31, 2015 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      It certainly is expensive. But if a tree that size needs work, who else is going to do it? They have you over the proverbial barrel. Or trunk.

  48. CherryPie July 31, 2015 at 12:30 am - Reply

    It is always wonderful to watch professional Tree Surgeons at work 🙂 Your photos are excellent.

    It is a little sad that the tree had to go.

    • Jessica July 31, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      It is very sad Cherie and I remember your neighbour’s lovely oak. But if safety is at stake there’s no real alternative. If only this one had been growing just a little further away from the house.

  49. Annie Cholewa July 31, 2015 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Oh. My. Goodness. If a tree has to come down that’s the way to do it. Our younger son is entertaining thoughts of training as a tree surgeon, I think I’d better show him this post!

    • Jessica July 31, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      Even the professionals get hurt sometimes.. one of ours left with a bloody nose. It’s not a job for the squeamish.

  50. Em July 31, 2015 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Unbelievable. They must be completely crazy and it must make you feel slightly better about what I imagine it cost! X

    • Jessica July 31, 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      It was scary enough just watching. Big sigh of relief now it’s done! We had them back for another day to thin the canopy above the steps so the garden is looking a lot lighter now.

  51. Backlane Notebook July 31, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Awesome- I’ve only just caught up with emails and NO I WOULD NEVER WANT TO BE A TREE SURGEON but respect and thanks for those that do.

    • Jessica August 1, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply


  52. woolythymes August 2, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply


    • Jessica August 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Scary huh?

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