Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Today in pictures

If anything, Tuesday morning was wetter than Monday.  We've already had 1½" of rain in February and the ground is saturated.  In a perfect horticultural world I wouldn't go anywhere near the soil in these conditions but we don't have any choice, the silver birch have to be worked on when dormant otherwise they bleed so badly.  At least I can ask LP to dig over the badly compacted soil later in the year and repair much of the damage we must be doing to the soil structure.

A motley collection of photos today, blurry smudged ones from a very wet phone, glare from those taken through the kitchen window.

Driveway before we started.





Tarpaulin in place to contain the bark chips being flung into the air by the Jaws of Doom. 



Hobbit dragged most of this from the top of the garden to the chipping machine whilst LP fed the ravenous beast and Nona & Rob from Arbor-Tec did clever stuff with ropes and chainsaws.  I did feed a couple of branches into the machine just so I can say I'd done it but had no desire to stick around.



A much tidier drive when we'd finished.





As suspected, one of the birches was very badly rotted.  I hate losing a tree at any time, but if we didn't take this down now it would have to come out later. The other two have had a small amount of top reduction to try and improve their health and appearance; poor things spent so many years struggling to get past the leylandii that they are not in the best of condition.  There was also time to drop a birch which was heavily reshaped last year when it too was found to be full of rot.  The attempt to save it left us with an awful mess and by taking it out now I have the opportunity to replant something else.











Happily it did not take the pheasants long to return (they sneaked in for corn whilst we stopped for a cuppa) and our little Red friend came back as soon as all the tools were packed away.  I wish I could think of a way of keeping the larger birds out of the hazelnuts without using this cage which spoils all the photos.  One of the Rooks has learnt there are nuts in the wooden box on the Rowan tree and is often seen hopping around the garden with a nut in his beak.



The tree boys left at 12.00 and after a bit of clearing up LP left at 12.30. I was left with a mud room full of very soggy waterproofs.  Am beyond tired; I was meant to go out last night but that didn't happen.  I'm supposed to be out tonight too but there's zero to nil chance of me leaving the house once I've had supper.






15 comments:

  1. You have really got the bit between your teeth now and the work looks hard - but the end result will be so satisfying. Hope the rain keeps off.

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    1. Pat, yes it is hard but teh sooner we get it done, the sooner we can relax and enjoy it (well, that's what I keep telling myself!)

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  2. I'm so sad you had to take down the birches. But with rot, they'd be coming down sooner or later and probably not where or when you'd like, doing damage along the way. Girl, you are putting us all to shame with all that work!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Sue. Not trying to shame anyone into working this hard, you all have far more sense.

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  3. Several older silver birches came down on our nearest New Forest hill this winter. Sad to see them fall, but they are staying to rot and provide a habitat for invertebrates.

    Your garden project does look interesting. It will be good to follow your progress. Wood chippers are such noisy beasts. I hope yours will soon be finished!

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    1. DW, we made a log pile with silver birch many years ago. It didn't take long for all the wood to rot away leaving just the bark shell, wish I had taken some photos. Hopefully our pile near the pond will be good for toads, frogs and other little creatures.

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  4. I'm feeling moist just looking at all these photos Bilbo! All this hard work will pay off in the end!

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    1. Eve, it was more than a little wet. I know this is a rainy and mountainous area but everyone around here is thoroughly sick of the rain this winter.

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  5. It is a pity about the birches - they are beautiful trees but sometimes there is no real choice.

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    1. Sue, seeing how far down the trunk the rot went makes me feel better about it, am now planning a Crab Apple for that space.

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  6. Glad you still have all your fingers. :-D Sorry about the trees, and also about having to cage your squirrel feeder from the larger birds. I've been trying to keep the squirrels out of my suet feeder. Today I'm trying a little chili pepper. Ole!

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    1. Had to smile Kris. Our beloved native Red Squirrels are endangered to the point of near extinction because of American greys imported in the 1870's, and the damn varmits are causing trouble in their own land too. Hope you work out a way of protecting your feeders.

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    2. In their defense, it was not the greys at the suet, but a fox squirrel. But having 4 kinds of squirrels here, there is usually enough blame to go around. ;-D

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  7. Lucky you getting rain, water levels down our way are getting worryingly low. Looks like another cracking day of work in the garden, well done!

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    1. Ali, we have more rain here than the ground can cope with (they don't call it the "lake" district for nothing!). Rained all last night, most of today, high winds too. Take care of yourself, hugs,

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