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Just heard an enormous crash as I was sitting at the kitchen table. Went out to see a hugh, ancient crack willow tree has come down in the wind. It was totally rotten at the base which must be about 6 feet in diameter. It’s certainly let some light into the garden! It’s way beyond my capabilities, even with my collection of chain saws, to tackle as a large chipper is needed to dispose of the soft wood. A neighbour has already recommended a suitable person and they’ll be round in the morning. This is going to cost me ! Plenty of neighbours with log burners so free fuel for them for the next few years.

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The problem with Willow it doesn't burn well even if it is well seasoned...

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Well the tree man came this morning and quoted me £600 to get rid. My neighbour’s having the logs. I’d budgeted for around £1,000 so everybody’s happy. It will take three men a day but won’t be for three weeks. It’s not in the way of anything so I can live with that. I’m leaving the massive rotten part of the trunk as a haven for wildlife and as a garden feature!

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Our apple tree stump is determined not to die!!   I have since planted  bluebells, snowdrops and primroses round it and it will stay as a feature.

IMG-5020.jpg

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Ours will be quite a feature. Lying on its side the trunk overshadows me. I guess the tree must be over 400 years old. I’ll try and count the rings on one of the bigger side branches when they saw through it. Others have fallen down over the years and I’ve been younger and fitter and cut them up myself, although I’ve always left the main trunk and the trees have sprouted up again. We still have one more of similar size in the hedge but I think that technically it belongs to my neighbour. That’s an entire tree. The one that fell had been pollarded 20 years ago and that produced a very heavy crop of new growth which made it top heavy. My neighbours who live over 200 yards away heard the noise when it fell and came running to check if we were still alive! There’s so much more light on the north side of the garden now.

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It’s the wrong variety of willow for bats. This is ‘crack’ willow which is named after the sound it makes when it sheds a branch. After a period of seasoning the wood will be burnt on my friend, Bill Brazier’s (formerly of the Beatmen), log burner. He’s further down the lane from me so, unlike us, he has no gas supply and no mains drainage. We were the last on the lane to get both. He does have electricity though!

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I thought that was a competitive price. It's a hugh tree with lots of smaller branches to feed through the chipper and a lot of larger branches to log. I've had a lot of tree work done over the years so I know what's involved and what the local going rates are. Frankly I expected the charge to be a bit higher. 

 

 

 

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BK. I wouldn't screw a bird feeder on our apple tree stump because we have 2 cats!  we have to put bird  food on  a high bird table

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  • 2 months later...

Just had a call from my neighbour to say that an oak tree in the field boundary hedge came down last night, unfortunately falling into our field. The hay’s been cut and shifted so there’s no harm done but I’m sad to see the tree go as it was a magnificent specimen, probably a couple of hundred years old. The tree surgeon will be giving it the last rites soon. My neighbour, who’s 80, has a log burner so I told him the timber from the tree may well see him out if he lives to be 100! 

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Will ALL the timber be burnt?   Can't a local craftsperson/woodworker collect the larger pieces / trunk to make into something beautiful?  Seems wrong that everything should be burnt

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That's exactly what my wife has just said. It seems a shame that a timber like oak is to be confined to the flames. We have a retired doctor on the lane who is seriously into woodwork. I'll give him a call to see if he wants to earmark some for crafting. It will presumably have to be seasoned.

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Phil, the problem with trees around houses are nails!! I've been cutting an oak tree up for firewood that was next to an old house, it died due to too many lightning strikes, I have come across dozens of nails, chain saw found some, damaged chains, and when I was splitting logs on the log splitter, found an unbelievable number of nails, even some square blacksmith nails, buried deep in the wood.

We tried to sell both logs off to small wood mills, both trunks were around 17 foot and straight, nobody wanted them, probably for the above reason.

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Our next door neighbour yesterday started to chop down, or so it seemed, a very large pine and an equally large silver birch. But at the finish they only lopped the tops off. It does give us a slightly better view across the fields and vines. I wish they would chop it down altogether as it has a lot of dried out branches and the needles fall onto our patio round the pool. In my opinion ( which doesn't count) they have too many trees close together. They do like to sit outside so I suppose it's handy to have so much shade.

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The problem is we must have around 100 trees of various sizes around the place so there’s always one falling, shedding a branch or needing pruning. Tree care is becoming a full time occupation. The best thing I bought recently was a battery powered chainsaw. It’s not as powerful as my petrol driven ones but it’s great for the thinner branches without the awful chainsaw noise! I’m going more and more for the battery powered stuff as it’s quieter, lighter and without starting problems. The older I get the easier life I want and I hate paying other people to do the work for me!

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I'm with you on that one, no more petrol or four stroke or extension leads to get tangled up with or fall over. Battery only for me for now on.

Might even go the whole hog with an electric car if ever the prices and range gets realistic.

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