Tree worry

First thing this morning, while it was drizzling, the only sounds in the garden were the patter of raindrops and falling leaves. I busied myself potting up some planters with Tulip ‘China Pink’ for spring.

Then peace and quiet were shattered by the arrival of contractors armed with chainsaws and a big old chipper. They are working on the land behind our garden, but it always makes me nervous. There are two large, mature trees on this ‘debatable ground’ – an Ash and a Sycamore. They’re nothing remarkable in themselves, and they’re not ‘ours’, but they are nevertheless an integral part of our garden as only mature trees can be.

Ignore the neighbours’ Leylandii – the two big trees are plain to see

In some ways they are a challenge. The garden faces East, and they block out the sunrise for much of the year. Their leaves (and seedlings) require a good deal of attention, and they cast morning shade. But I wouldn’t be without them.

Their high branches are always full of birds: Woodpigeons a lot of the time, but also Great Spotted Woodpeckers, flocks of Goldfinches, and groups of Long-tailed Tits doing the rounds. Their Ivy-clad trunks undoubtedly offer shelter and food to insects, and quite probably some of the bats we see on summer evenings.

When we moved to this house we checked that they had TPOs, which they do. But even so, the sound of power tools makes me anxious that one day someone somewhere will deem them an inconvenience and order their felling.

Not today, I very much hope.

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