A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land."
– A.E. Housman
We had a day of intermittent rain yesterday which was the first for about four weeks, so with the rise in temperatures forecast for the weekend it seems we might get a burst of spring growth at last. Travelling to work recently has been rather like driving through a sepia photograph. The grass in gardens and fields is a bleached brown colour, and everything seems to be covered in a layer of dust. The banks of daffodils are still just buds and the hedges and trees are mostly sticks, hardly a leaf in sight.
The local council have have been tree planting along the main road. All the new trees are, of course, of the usual municipal sort. That is, they have an upright growth pattern (we can’t have any dangerous branches overhanging the road or pavement!) and are not going to get above twenty feet in height. Nevertheless they are trees, so I emailed the council to thank them and ask exactly what sort of trees they are. It seems they don’t want us to know, because although they thanked me for writing, it’s now a fortnight later and the promised follow up email with the details, has still not arrived! I was talking about this to someone from our Parks Department yesterday and it seems that it’s now policy for councils to only plant tree varieties for the short term, ones that will need replacing in 20-30 years time. So next time you see a beautiful, tall, mature tree come down, weep for your grand children, I see a future when the only large trees about are in special preserves, surrounded by fences 😦
As well as tree planting, we have had a period of felling locally too. Two large beeches were blown over in the snow storms on my route to work. These were part of an ‘avenue’ of beeches which have reached maturity and are now naturally coming to the end of their lives, although they seem to prefer to dramatically topple over rather than decay by degrees. Over the past few years we have lost about six of these altogether. We also had an oak overturned by the gales in Prestbury, plus two large oaks taken down on the verges (goodness knows why) and several large trees from the garden of a house which is now on the market *sigh*
In the cemetery we lost a large pine to the storm, and another because of complications caused by it’s fall. The really bad news from work is that one of our two magnificent cedars will have to be felled as it is almost dead and bits keep dropping off – really large heavy branches unfortunately. It would be nice if it could be left to disintegrate naturally but there are graves under it and so the poor thing will have to come down completely or be converted to a monolith – that’s the official name for leaving it up as a 20ft stump. This seems to be all the fashion today I guess it’s because it’s cheaper!