Early Saturday morning we opened our curtains to this beautiful sky with the winter trees silhouetted
With so much uncultivated land at the back of our house I enjoy the view throughout the seasons, especially the mature deciduous trees. However, when I chose my last header (above) I had no thoughts about the fact that this familiar skyline would change. It's difficult to tell from my photograph, but there's now a big gap between the fir trees on the left and the first deciduous tree on the right and the loss of what was a beautiful horse chestnut was so swift I was not able to capture the procedure to cut it down.
It happened last week. As you know, we've been experiencing extreme weather in the UK. We live
three quarters of the way up a hill before it levels out onto the common land at the top and we're sheltered in the lee of the land. The trees at the back of our house are more exposed, although they do give us extra shelter.
We were having our breakfast one morning and could here the noise of an electric saw. On looking out of the kitchen window I noticed that the crown of the horse chestnut tree had disappeared and it seemed as if the truck was also being felled. In a matter of an hour the tree had completely gone from our view.
When all was clear and the weather had improved I went down the narrow lane by our house to see
what was left of the tree which had been growing by the original wall of the old estate. (The above photos were taken in the Autumn and the one below was taken last week). It's possible to see the old lodge house more clearly.
It's a shame that the tree had to be felled, possibly because it was a safety hazard on a bend in the very narrow lane or because there were signs of a disease which had weakened it. Then it would have been a danger to those who use the no-through thoroughfare.
Apparently half the horse chestnut trees in Britain are showing signs of a disease called bleeding canker and this is beginning to threaten our beautiful mature trees. Like other native and European deciduous trees it's possible that many mature horse chestnut trees will succumb to the disease in time especially as there's no known treatment for it, which is thought-provoking. The horse chestnut tree has been part of our heritage and childhood experiences i.e. 'under the spreading chestnut tree' song, making doll's house furniture, kicking the leaves about on autumn days looking for those conkers and using them for playground conker games - although such games have been banned in some primary schools for health and safety reasons!! - leaving it to the adults to participate in 'conker battles'.
Above is what's left of the tree which has been cut down as close as possible it seems to the path.
Can you see the heart shape in the stump? I love trees and I'm sorry to see the loss of this one for whatever reason.
We did find a good space to plant our Christmas tree in the corner of the new vegetable patch in the back garden, but although it's a token gesture for the environment it's not quite the same as planting a deciduous or fruit tree for future generations to enjoy to replace those that have to be felled, which we would do if we had more room.