These recent strong winds are a vivid reminder of the hurricane that struck in the 1980′s causing considerable damage to property and the lose of many trees.  I was working for Notcutts at the time of the hurricane and have strong memories of walking through a changed landscape with fallen trees everywhere.  The forest near to Woodbridge bore a close resemblance to the images we associate with the Western Front of World War 1.  Trees were toppled over and many trunks literally shattered as the wind struck.

Fortunately this time the winds are catching trees with no foliage and the mass of the trees’s canopy therefore considerably lessened.  In my village some trees have come over but this is limited.   health of your trees.  Walking in the meadows in Alvechurch we have a fine avenue of Chestnuts, these mature trees are sadly infected with Bleeding Canker and shows how important it is to check the trees. In the recent wind one of the trees has lost a limb.  The image shows the point at which it failed but also shows the fungal brachets on the external trunk of the tree.  The tree whilst looking reasonably well in the Summer it is slowly dying and decay that had been unnoticed had weakened the limb.  This caused the the limb to snap and fail at this weak point.  The white mycelium is clearly visible in the close up image and the wood was damp and soft to the touch.

If you do have trees growing in your garden, you as the owner have a duty of care to ensure the trees are safe.  This means you need to undertake regular inspections of the tree to assertion its health.  Tree surgeons are the most qualified professionals to call in to carry out this work, but I stress you must use a member of the Arboricultural Association as they a qualified and have undertaken a vetting procedure to ensure they operate in a safe manner.  There a too many cowboys in the industry and you need to ensure you gain the correct advice.  A cowboy will often advise the felling of the tree either to cover up ignorance of his or her ability to check out a trees health or to generate a contract to fell the tree.  The likelihood too is they will not check for a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or put in for the associated application for the removal of the tree.  This could land you as the owner of the tree in conflict with the local council who could fine you a considerable sum.  By undertaking regular checks the trees health can be monitored and if it did fall or ahead a limb you can show you have undertaken all reasonable measures to ensure the tree is safe.  This is important if your tree causes damage to adjoining property or causes injury to others.

Reminiscing again, I remember a discussion with a tree surgeon called Peter Scot from Southern Tree Services, about a Tree of Lebanon (cedar).  He warned me how as a tree they can just drop a limb – no warning.  The tree in question was close to the drive and should the limb drop considerable damage would have occurred to the property and the nearby parked car.  Other trees that drop limbs with little to no warning include Beech.  As a child I remember playing in Danbury Park and hearing a crack similar to that of a loud rifle.  A nearby beech tree had chosen that moment to lose a limb.  It was a dramatic event and one I remember each time I enter Alvechurch.  As I crest the hill by Sandhills Day Nursery I keep  one eye on the road the other at the tall beech oversailing the road.  I do hope they have had a tree surgeon in to look at it!

 

 

 

 

 

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