You may remember back in the summer we had a couple of branches down from our Sycamore trees, which was causing concern rather than damage - although the greenhouse did have a lucky escape, see Timberrr! Again. And pesky wildlife. After a couple more smaller branches came down we decided it was time to call someone in to look at them and tell us what might be causing them to shed their branches.
The tree surgeon made short work of diagnosing our issue. Squirrels. Yes, the pesky wildlife (although thankfully not the digging sort, see How my garden fared for itself) had taken things to a new level, quite literally and had been stripping the bark off our sycamores so they could get to the sweet, milky sap. And where they'd stripped the bark the whole way round, that branch died and eventually fell down. Timberrr!
To resolve this, and to prevent any further branches falling we needed all three trees pollarded. And planning permission. Luckily the tree surgeon could sort this out and so last week the big cut took place. Here's one of the trees before the work started:
And with the first tree - the one nearest the house - complete, I was amazed at how much more light there was now in our conservatory.
Two done, one to go. The first tree had suffered quite a bit of squirrel-chewing - it's most noticeable on the central branch. And don't they look like twiglet's now?
There was quite a lot to cut off, and there was only one way for it to go. And that was down!
I didn't fancy their job at all, but did manage to climb the stairs indoors to get this photo of the man in our tree, who looks as if he's completely engulfed by one of our cherry trees - he isn't, it's just perspective playing tricks on you.
They had a nifty way of avoiding muddy footprints through the house though, which I'm grateful for!
And they did a fab job of tidying the garden afterwards too.
And they left us with a heap of leaves and a pile of logs from just one of the trees. With our leaf bin already full we spent an afternoon putting leaves into black sacks for even more leaf mould and ferrying the thinner branches mixed in with the leaves to our green waste bin. Three full black sacks later and a full wheelie bin and we've hardly made a dent in this pile. On the plus side most of the leaves are down so while there's still more to do, once it's done, it's done!
Most of our garden had a covering of sawdust too, the hostas seem to be carrying it off well!
But all is not sawdust. The Fatsia is in flower and it's looking beautiful. I'm hoping to spend some more time with it and my camera so if the photos turn out well there could be some Fatsia infatuation in a Thursday or two. All the photos in this post are iPhone photos as I was trying to avoid getting in the way - but not always managing it!
In my raised beds the rainbow chard, parsley and beetroot are still going strong. But in the last week my rhubarb has slumped and I hope it enjoys its winter mulch.
The berberis is beginning to show signs of autumn with the leaves starting to turn red. But my garden's still confused as the dahlia is still in flower.
I couldn't resist snapping these parsley seed heads, I really should pull them up and compost them, but not just yet...
And I think this little fella probably agrees with that!