It was just another day, a typical Saturday and our plans were simple. Get the house tidy and pack for our upcoming holiday. Progress was good and by early afternoon we decided to have lunch and a short break. I then decided as the weather was nice to get the lawnmower out and cut the grass in our garden. It was getting ridiculously long with the rain/sunshine mixture over the last few weeks. To the point our cats could hide in it.
With the familiar smell of freshly cut grass and the lawn looking much more respectable, I then decided to remove some of the weeds and ivy/vines growing around the fencing and trees. It was then I discovered something – one of the trees didn’t have a trunk, it was completely hollow and only supported by the bark and the vines that had now been removed.
I couldn’t leave it this way, it could collapse at any moment. With some gentle assistance from myself, the tree came down. It was only a small tree around 18ft tall, and as tempting as it was, I didn’t shout “Timber”.
Move forward a couple of weeks, it’s a hot day after a really hot week. I’m looking at the remains of the tree still in the ground. I grabbed a shovel and start investigating the earth around it. Before long, I’ve gone and dug a hole around one side of the stump that feels like I should be close to oil, but in reality is about 2ft deep.
My wife and son join me with small hand spades to help remove the earth from around the roots, while I’m on the opposite side now able to dig under the stump, most of which was just falling away. Most of the roots were so weak they fell away too. There were only three ‘decent’ size roots that needed cutting. I cut two of them, and start digging for the third which is much deeper. A gentle push of the stump and the remaining route cracks and breaks away. With a burst of adrenaline, (assisted by a well known energy drink for me), my wife and I pull the remains from the ground.
A couple of photos taken and it’s time to re-fill the hole. This was much quicker to do than I was expecting, especially with help from my son. A quick check first we didn’t strike oil though!
Now I’m no tree surgeon/gardener but I’m pleased with what we have achieved. I’m by no means saying we did everything the correct way, but we removed a tree that was a potential danger to anyone near it. We still have plenty of tree cover to keep nice shaded areas but it has also really opened up the garden, just what our son needs to burn off the never-ending source of energy he has!