Friday, 16 December 2011

That wiped the smile off his face!

Work on taming the drive has come on leaps and bounds and we now find ourselves at the top end of the drive just by our overflow car park.  We have opened up some great views, removed lots of unhealthy trees and generally made the area much more inviting for people and wildlife.  However, one thing that was standing in our way was a rather smug looking Oak.  We have had to put up with him sneering at us for several weeks now.  Well, enough is enough and so we called in our very own Terminator.  Some of you may know Anthony from his other persona of friendly Senior Gardener (Walled Garden)
Cue cheesy grin...

Well behind that gentle exterior beats the heart of a cold bloodied assassin – so who better to deal with this tree?  Ant has medium tree felling certification and so this allows him to tackle larger trees on behalf of the garden team.  Like a retired gunfighter he was only too happy to pick up his six shooter (chainsaw) and come to our aid.

Medium felling employs a different technique to smaller trees and utlilses certain cuts to ensure that the operator has complete control over the tree.  This first picture gives you an indication of the size of the tree.  Although relatively small for an oak the weight was still considerable.

The next picture shows Ant forming the sink (or ‘Bird’s Mouth’) cut which gives the tree its direction of fall.  Accuracy is key when dealing with larger trees and Ant took great care to make sure that this smiling tree went where we wanted it to.

In the fourth picture you see Ant gradually working his way around the tree cutting and placing wedges in the kerf ( as he goes.  Once he has removed all of the holding wood he can use the high left wedges to raise the tree up and over the point of balance into the felling position.  You will notice that Ant has adopted the ‘Uruk-hai’ stance which allows him to leg it ‘Orc style’ if anything goes wrong - not needed in this case as it was a text book fell.

Once on the ground we noticed that there were traces of decay in the tree and so we are satisfied that removal was the best option.  From this angle you can see why Charlotte thought we were being very grown up by giving the tree the specific tag of ‘C.8’ rather than just a smiley face.

As you can see Ant is happy with the end result, evidence of some nice de-buttressing and a good all round job - thanks Ant.  However, it was at this point that things turned a little sour.

As a thank you gift Duncan and I decided to present Ant with this snazzy baby buggy that we discovered in amongst some undergrowth.  Now, most parents of young children would be grateful for any help, but not Ant - oh no!  Apparently this gift wasn't good enough and was rejected out of hand.  He did on the other hand accept a box of biscuits with grace from Hilary one of our garden volunteers.  No pleasing some people.

We will be continuing on the drive for a few days yet and hope that next time you are passing you will take time to admire the views across to Lamberhurst Church.  In the meantime thanks to Anthony for his help today and we look forward to engaging our ‘Saw for hire’ again very soon.


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