Today’s mission was to cut down two trees. Well one and the remaining trunk of another that broke due to the weight of snow on it in December 2008.  The two meter slanting rump had been an apple tree of sorts which bore small coarse bitter inedible apples.  The other tree, standing some five meters tall was a ‘prunè bord’,  a plum tree only in name.  It’s fruit small and very bitter.  These two did have at least one endearing quality.  As sirens of spring they would signal the resurgent energy of each new year with a colourful array of pink and white blossom.

The trees had grown just three meters from the somewhat inhospitable northern facing side of the house.   This is only kissed by direct sunlight in the height of summer and then only late in the day as the sun dips behind the hills.  On a cold December or January morning hard frost can lie on the lawn by the house all day without feeling the warmth of the sun. Thus, in hindsight it is something of a minor miracle that these two hardy but useless fruit trees managed to grow at all and to such effect.

So why cut them down?  Well, when fully covered in foliage they blocked views and more importantly light to the ‘old kitchen’ on the main floor and to two prospective bedrooms on the floor above.

Thus, armed with chainsaw and goggles I set too on the apple stump…..or not as was the case.  The tough old B*******  gave not an inch.  It’s 40cm or so girth and core proved too great a challenge for my wee saw.   At which point practical brother in law David pitched up as planned armed with nothing more than axe and hard hat.  Turning to the pruné bord and alternating between axe and saw the poor tree eventually yielded to our efforts.  

Wee branches were snedded off and the thicker ones along with the main trunk were cut into manageable lengths and stacked on the edge of the lawn to be cut into logs later in the year.

Now before I receive any lacerating comments from new age tree huggers and the likes, please hear me out.  I’m probably closer to your cause than you think.  Our game plan is to plant fruit trees and more in due course.  I’m no chain saw wielding tree psycho.  In fact, a part of me hurts with the trees….look at Roald Dahl’s ‘The Sound Machine’ and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  See a Giant Sequoia first hand or the 5,000 plus year old Fortingall Yew in Scotland and you’ll know these majestic  forms  have witnessed much and will continue to do so long after our brief existences.

Job done.  The trees are no more and the house will benefit from that, at least from our perspective.  And yes, hug a tree.  You’ll feel better for it.

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