In the summer I noticed one of our huge sycamores had succumbed to a disease, one by one the branches shed all their leaves and by autumn there was no sign of life. It was growing just a metre from an oak so didn’t seem worth saving and today we chopped it down. The internet is such a wonderful resource for every possible activity (I once googled how to fold fitted sheets and found a good video
on youtube) for doing anything and there was no shortage of information on chopping down large trees. After half an hour’s research Philip got out the chain saw and took out a wedge on the side it was leaning towards, I had the idea of attaching a large rope to another tree under tension to the sycamore in case it decided to fall into our neighbour’s field. Then Philip made a cut at the same level as the missing wedge and I was instructed to stand clear and raise my arm at the first sign of movement as Philip couldn’t hear anything above the noise of the chain saw. It all went swimmingly, a cracking noise, he moved back and the dead tree came crashing down in just the right place. There must be a winter’s worth of firewood, though it will take two years to dry out. Philip rather enjoys being a lumberjack and I’ll do the stacking of the logs once the tree is chopped up. We must plant some more trees to replace those we have lost. Whatever Frenchman planted the 30 odd trees in our garden many years ago must have been so altruistic, they are mostly oak and beech trees that wouldn’t have looked very impressive until they were forty or fifty years old. We have one oak tree that our neighbour thought was at least three hundred years old.