Life, photos but not the universe

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it…

Well that’s one thing but a branch falling in the road outside is definitely there even if no one heard it fall.

We have a venerable oak by our front (and only) gate.  Some years ago, being concerned about the number and size of branches it dropped on our lawn and drive and the road, I rang the council and asked if they would like to trim it’s deadwood to make it safer.  Are you asking us to cut a tree down said the young woman.  Oh no I said firmly, just to cut off any dangerous branches.  Oh, well, I’ll pass on your request to the (?) I-can’t-remember-who section.  Naturally we never heard anything else.

We don’t want it cut down because it’s a) venerable (probably at least a hundred years worth of veneration) and b) home to all kinds of desirable wildlife and c) splendid and a good way to identify our house.  So we wonder if we should get it listed?  Since only about a twentieth of its trunk is inside our fence, it’s probably not our responsibility and we wouldn’t be obliged to maintain it.  But it might mean that if we complained that it was dangerous, the council  might be obliged to send a tree surgeon to cut down its dead branches but wouldn’t be allowed to cut it down completely.  Maybe.  Obviously it’s quite impossible to get any kind of clear ruling from the council on this.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, it dropped a big branch on the road.   The branch wasn’t there when Barney came home (and we didn’t hear it fall) but half an hour later we saw a couple of drivers wandering around it uncertainly and went to investigate.  There it was, all over the road.  Clearly, since the branch fell out of a clear blue sky (metaphorically speaking – if you want literal, it fell out of the tree) while no one was looking, the tree is getting dangerous.  So we ought to get it listed and then tell the council it’s dangerous?

Alternatively, when our finances are more settled, we could consider employing a tree surgeon to deal with it?  Actually, we know one personally.  He used to be in charge of the bar at our local (oft mentioned ) pub/restaurant and left it to become a tree surgeon.  Unfortunately and tragically, a youth who was working with him (and was not paying attention to simple instructions like stand away when I tell you a branch is coming down)* was killed by a branch felled by our friend.  So, ok, we don’t know a tree surgeon any more as he was quite upset by the whole thing and decided not to carry on with it.  And to be fair, Barney, although good with ladders and chainsaws,  is probably wise to avoid being the person in charge of falling branches above a public and fairly busy road.

I’m still adrift without a computer and the netbook screen doesn’t do photos very well.  Here’s a link to a long ago photo of the oak tree.

*There’s a word they shout when anything is coming down, (a bit like “jibe!” in sailing, to warn crew to duck when the boom swings across the boat**).  Supposedly it’s one of the first things an apprentice tree surgeon is taught.

**Actually Wikipedia says it’s ‘jibe-ho’ but I don’t remember Swallows and Amazons ever saying that.  

OMG!  I just saw a great big advert plastered all over my blog.  Very appropriate but not my doing!  Sorry.


May 1, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. 60 feet up, swinging a chainsaw and muttering..
    Oh, now that would need to be photographed…
    But lets hope it’s not anyone you love!

    Comment by ☼Illuminary☼ | May 2, 2012 | Reply

  2. I fell out a tree with some loppers once and had to have 12 stitches in my calf.

    In my brief early sailing period we used to shout “Ready about Lee-oh!”. That was until Leo fell in and gave it up.

    Comment by Rog | May 2, 2012 | Reply

  3. Whoever does it, I will be there with the camera, Illuminary : )

    It’s always a mistake to fall out of trees Rog. Loppers are probably a mistake too.
    And I knew Jibe (ho) wasn’t what I remembered from my early reading about sailing days, thank you : )

    Comment by letouttoplay | May 2, 2012 | Reply

  4. Most folks ’round here yell “LIMB FALLING……move your arse!!!” Well, actually, they don’t say ‘arse’….LOL But you get the idea. Oh–and there are those that yell ‘Timber!’. Now, why that is, I have no clue–hopefully it’s to make noise so folks are moving their arse, huh?

    We have a tree that the Brit is fretting over–and probably with good reason. But I figure that’s why we have household insurance and it’ll be a good tale to tell at some point in our lives. Everyone oughta have a tree fall on their house once in their lifetime, right?
    k…..this would make tree number two on a house for me. MIGHT be one too many….
    k….well–the neighbor has one of those ‘cherry picker’ thingies that go wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy up. Maybe I’ll talk him into taking a chainsaw up and doing the deal?

    Oh…..poor tree……
    Nope. LOL Can’t do it! And there’s no ‘gee–zackly who’s in charge of the tree’ going on for me…LOL

    Comment by Mel | May 3, 2012 | Reply

  5. Timber! Of course. I’m going to have to find out what the word actually is now cos I’m sure it wasn’t any of those. The tree itself is still good for another few years so we just need to clear out all the dead stuff. Probably give it a new lease of life.

    Comment by letouttoplay | May 4, 2012 | Reply

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