Many gardens have them and in Britain we love the presence of that shade-giving, season-welcoming, fauna habitat that is the tree. However, with great timber comes great responsibility, if I’m allowed to paraphrase Spiderman, because trees can also cause arguments, destroy property and cost you a small fortune in recompense, so it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities as a tree owner.
This article is for you if you are looking to fell a tree in your garden, or you have an unsightly or inconvenient stump in your garden, because stump removal can be a really tough task for the uninitiated.
The ash tree is the third most common tree in Britain, behind the birch and the oak, according to the Woodland Trust. It is found across many different ecological zones, from the Arctic Circle to Turkey, but this staple of the English woodland is currently under threat from a biological attack.
When I was a boy we had a giant oak tree at our school. Of course, we were not allowed to climb it, but – boys being boys – that didn’t stop us. Then one day, during a particularly heavy storm, it was struck by lightning. For hundreds of years that tree had grown quietly to become taller than any building in the school, but in an instant that was over and what was left was a mass of blackened, splintered timber. When we got to school the next day it looked like a bomb had gone off in the tree – there were chunks strewn like confetti and a massive hole down the centre where the lightning had literally split the tree in two. But why had that tree been hit when there were others around, and why not the building next to it, or the steeple of the chapel over the road? This article looks at lightning, and how to protect your trees from its devastating effects.
The cuckoo’s call may be the soundtrack to a summer’s day, but its nature is to decimate the homes of other birds by rolling eggs from a nest and replacing them with their own. If you cut down trees or trim your hedgerows without consideration for the birds that may have made their homes there then you will be the cuckoo, decimating their habitats. However, there is an easy way to avoid this and keep your garden’s foliage tamed while protecting the fauna that call it home.
We are often called in to deal with trees that have got their owners into legal hot water, so we thought you might appreciate a quick overview of the sort of trouble your garden trees could be getting you into.
The Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) is a relatively recent scourge of the UK oak tree population. They live and feed almost exclusively on oak leaves and can strip a tree bare, leaving it weakened and more vulnerable to pests, diseases, and stress. But this pest does not stop at compromising the health of our oak trees – people and pets need to watch out as well.
The silver birch is a striking tree, with its silver-grey trunk and limbs that shed paper-like bark, light canopy and drooping branches, weighed down by yellow-brown and green catkins in April and May each year. It grows to around 30 metres in height and its triangular-shaped, serrated leaves go from light green in the summer to yellow in the autumn before they fall from the tree.
Tree surgery is a dangerous business. You might think this statement is rather obvious, what with chainsaws, ropes and working at height being part and parcel of the profession, but more and more ‘cowboys’ are entering the market (and also the column inches of national newspapers when things go wrong…). This article aims to help you to sort that Stetson-wearing, horseshoe-throwing, tobacco-chewing lot from the professionals.
The British summer can be an unpredictable season. You know where you are with autumn, it’ll be cold and wet, in winter it’ll be cold and wet, and in spring it’ll be wet and slightly less cold. But summer can be so many things. There could be summer storms, sweltering drought and even flash floods. It could be unseasonably cold or hot, or seesaw between the two throughout. But while we Brits are used to the random roll of the dice that is our summertime weather, trees are less resilient so we need to prepare for every eventuality.
The oak tree holds a special place in all our hearts. It’s the most common species of tree in England, and because of the height, scale, and age that it grows to, it has always been considered a symbol of endurance in our history. This is the story of the mighty oak, and how having one in your garden could well make you a very lucky homeowner.
Today it is very unlikely that you will have a mature elm in your garden. It’s a shame, but successive waves of Dutch elm disease have devastated the British population of this once prolific tree on our isle. So, if you have any young elm saplings in your garden you’ll want to do your bit to protect them from a disease that will still find and destroy them, given half a chance.