Monday, 6 January 2014

A windy end

By my reckoning, we are now 15 days into this most unsettled of spells. Can anybody remember such a widespread run of strong winds and rain? I can certainly recall many times when a handful of lows have scurried through, but not on this scale. If ever mans foolishness for building on flood plains has been exposed, then these past few days has seen to it. The idea of looking out of your window onto a picturesque riparian scene was something to aspire to - now it is one fraught with problems.

Being on chalky high ground we do not have to invest in sandbags and canoes, although the trees around here have taken a fearful battering. Our thirty-foot Lawson's Cypress has become a victim of the nagging south-south-westerly gusts. On Saturday morning I thought it looked a little odd and closer inspection revealed the soil around its base slumped, with the trunk leaning. I could see the ground moving with each gust of wind. After alerting the neighbours (this tree would kill anybody standing underneath it if it came down) I then tried to find a tree surgeon. I wasn't surprised that these people are terribly popular at the moment. I did manage to secure a 'surveying' site visit for yesterday and an appointment for felling today. It was a worrying two days, with every heavy burst of rain and gust of wind seemingly about to topple the tree - it started to lean further last night and I was convinced that I would hear its crashing demise during the night, taking with it a small summer-house, fencing and next doors garden furniture. But this morning dawned with the Cypress still upright (just) and it was with some relief that the team of tree surgeons arrived shortly after midday. They did a tremendous job, and if you need a job done in the Epsom area, then phone Bushes n Trees.

Although a Lawson's Cypress isn't the most attractive of trees, our garden is hardly large, so it is leaving a bit of a gap - we stare up the garden and are missing our pillar of evergreen. It is also a foodplant of one of my favourite moths - Blair's Shoulder-knot. I wonder if this will supress my catches of them this coming autumn?

6 comments:

  1. I empathise.

    Armillaria mellea had stricken a huge Hawthorn at the base of our garden. For a few years, it became a shadow of it's former self but still provided pleasure in it's skeletal form and rotting wood for invertebrates. This autumn we had to pull it down as it was finally dropping it's arms to the ground. Now the space looks a bit bare but will soon fill up.

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    1. Hawthorn - another of my favourites Andrew. When it flowers is one of my happiest nature times.

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  2. I can remember a back end when it just seemed to rain every day ,all the rivers and lakes ran high and brown until April,just cant remember which year it was! ,somewhere between 2004 and 2007? ,I had a similar situation with a blue cedar but had the top lopped off before it could get blown off,a male blackbird uses the flat top off the tree to sing from every spring,and my now 20+ flock of collard doves love it,occasionally attempting to nest in it.

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    1. Laurence, compared to a Lawson's Cypress, your Blue Cedar is a regal and royal tree. Long may it stay upright!

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  3. Yeah, but think of the number of BOOMoths! that have missed your trap because that blasted tree concealed your light as they winged silently overhead. Crippler coming your way soon, I reckon...

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    1. How very true Seth! Positive spin on a negative situation - you'll go far...

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