Two Oak trees down

A combination of the wettest April on record and strong gusting winds from the North took it’s toll on two of the ancient Oak trees at Sennicotts last night. We’ll try to make best use of the precious wood but it will take hundreds of years to replace them.

Second Oak Tree comes down in the park at Sennicotts
This one will take some work to get it on the ground safely.
Huge Oak Tree comes down in the park at Sennicotts
Huge Oak Tree comes down in the park at Sennicotts
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Surely one of the best tree surgeons in the world

Pablo has been working on the trees today and watching him work has left me almost 100% sure he must be one of the best tree surgeons in the world. OK, this is a bold statement but I really can’t think of any other attributes a tree surgeon would need in addition to those Pablo has:

  • Safe and careful.
  • Loves trees.
  • A naturally talented and quick climber.
  • Hard working and knowledgeable.
  • Enthusiastic and friendly.
  • Motivated by doing an excellent job.
  • Keen to incorporate the client’s ideas etc etc

He does of course make a mess on the ground but you can’t hold that against him when he is dropping dead wood from 30m up!

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A very close shave

At 4am this morning and with no warning the sweet chestnut on the drive lost a large bough. It had been providing shade to a lead ornament which was moved to Sennicotts from Aldwick Place near Bognor Regis.

In every way the bough appeared healthy but the weight of its foliage obviously became too much and it came crashing down. What we are so thankful for is the way in which it fell. With the exception of a small dent to the lead work it fell in what appears the only possible way to avoid crushing the ornament. The pictures tell the whole story…


… it doesn’t get closer than that! The question is who to thank?

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Tackling the Irish problem – of the Yews

a5k3019a5k3021We tackled another of those projects we have been deliberating about for a few years – the Irish Yews. For years we have struggled with these substantial trees resorting to pulling them with the tractor, pushing them with ladders, binding them with wire and even anchoring them with a back stay from a 50ft yacht.

Yet despite our best efforts they continued to fall about and lean over as much as ninety degrees, and occasionally breaking their binders.

Forming a significant part of the main view from the house and nurtured over many years we puzzled for months and years how we would give them another chance and a helping hand to stand tall at the end of the garden as they were always intended.

a5k3037a5k3158I’m not quite sure why having still not alighted on a solution we suddenly decided we were ready to tackle this problem. I guess we thought we had enough information at our finger tips to make a best guess.

With no central trunk we concluded we had to reduce the yews down to a height from which new growth would be steadied by substantial vertical growing limbs. Each yew had a cylindrical hole in the middle which allowed us to climb inside clearing away all growth except for some vertical starting trunks as near to the centre as possible. From these we hope the trees will grow back over the coming years.

To avoid repeated ‘leggy’, unstable growth from the existing foliage we cut away all but the outer greenery to provide a screen while the middle regrows. Eventually we hope to cut away the current outer growth to be left with strong trees in a sensible shape. What I’m not sure is whether they’ll still be Irish.

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Majestically bowing out

Every now and then a loud groaning, creaking noise can be heard at Sennicotts. It often happens in the middle of the night and is followed immediately by silence.

To start with we struggled to identify this noise but over the last few years we have managed to work it out. It is the sound of a grand old Horse Chestnut loosing a limb, out in the park.

There is no crashing or smashing noise, just a graceful easing to the ground of some fully laden bows.

Today saw us wake to find the largest, oldest remaining trunk had been laid down, hardly breaking a twig. The new shape remains majestic and we’ll probably wait as long as we can before the chainsaw screams into life hopefully allowing us to keep the remaining glory of this tree going for years to come.

The sheep love being able to feast on the once out of reach leaves.

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