Monday, September 12, 2011

Timbahhhhh!

Well that's that then. A tremendous gust of wind, a crack, a woosh and a graceful flop into the orchard and the Big Beech Tree is gone. Gone as in not standing next to its partner aka the Small Beech Tree anymore; but definitely not gone in terms of 'a lot to be cleared away'.....

I suppose I must count myself lucky that it didn't land on my head - I'd stopped before going down the garden, waiting for the gusts to pass before I went under the big sycamores which line our dingle. We've always counted ourselves lucky to have these Beeches, these mature monsters - maybe I'm not so sure now. We've been trying to estimate their age - probably well in excess of 150 years. (Wikipedia tells me they have a typical lifespan of 150 - 200 years.) I'd like to think these two were planted around the time of the enclosures which took place here in the 1840s.
About 18 months ago we noticed abundant fungal growth at their roots - and the death knell began to toll. Looking at the remains of the root which is now revealed it is a wonder that the tree has stood as long as it did.
On the plus side the tree missed the bench, fence and gas tank but unfortunately squashed some of the fruit trees in the orchard - there are plums and apples scattered everywhere. The Glam Ass points out that firewood won't be a problem for the next few years.
So, a dramatic start to the week. A bit sad really - particularly as we now think the other tree is equally vulnerable and will have to go too....

I'm off to crack on with my jam making activities; when life sends you lemons, make lemonade plum jam.

10 comments:

Cro Magnon said...

Spare the smaller one; he's probably fine. You're going to need a pretty big chainsaw to cut the big one up... Good luck.

Frances said...

Wow...that is dramatic way to start a week. What a massive tree. You may even have enough wood to make some furniture. Perhaps a bench, so that the tree could still be with you?

Meanwhile, I can just imagine the jam making that is going on, and the toast that will be consumed by a fire lit by ... well, you know.

xo

rachel said...

How very sad. But am I alone in thinking that the Glam Ass may enjoy the mayhem and big boys' toys that will now be required?

mountainear said...

Much as we'd like to spare the little 'un I think it will have to go ( the prospect of it landing on the gas tank and all that escaping pricey fuel blowing away is a pretty good spur.)

....and yes, boys and their toys will be gathering. I shall take Frances' advice and sit indoors eating jam on toast.

Twiglet said...

Blimey - thats a whopper - thank goodness you weren't around when it went down.

Jayne said...

I always think it very sad when large old trees are uprooted, but my next thought was - that's a lot of wood for the log burner. I bet the Glam Ass has already been oiling the chainsaw.
Take care.

elizabethm said...

Stunningly big tree! My parents lived in a house with a cedar nearby. The week after they sold the house, high winds brought the cedar crashing through the dining room ceiling. An oak on our hill here shed a giant bough earlier this year and that produced a big blockage and huge amounts of wood as it was cleared. I can hardly imagine how much there will be from the beech. Glad your house and lifestock were unharmed, although sorry about the squashed fruit trees!

bayou said...

Oh, what a shame! I feel so sorry as I well remember having admired this tree. Ok, lucky that there was not more damage but still, it's sad. You must plant another one, please. Even if we won't see it grow to the same height, others might :-).
Can smell the delights from your kitchen right now!

Pondside said...

It's pretty scary when the big ones come down. I imagine that the Glam Ass is in his element, though. Do you hear strains of "I'm a Lumberjack and I'm Okay" ?

Fennie said...

Well maybe WW will lend you her chainsaw. It certainly is a magnificent specimen. However I am thinking (because I have started to read the Pooh stories to Theo) of the time Wol's house blew down and wondering therefore whether there were any owls living in holes in the tree - or I suppose Piglets in those roots (possibly they had been undermined by piglets). For your next picture perhaps you could put up a 'Trespassers W' - sign.