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Friday, 9 January 2015

Clearing up a fallen giant

This week the wardens went to deal with the fallen oak tree in the last post:

Windblown trees like this can be dangerous to clear up as the root plates can move when you sever the main part of tree, and sometimes even stand back up in the hole, but due to the immense weight of the oak stem, this one was stable:

It was an interesting challenge due to the size of the tree and the numerous heavy limbs:

We started by working round the edges, cutting and removing smaller branches, so that the ground underfoot was clear and we could clearly assess which were the main load bearing branches and how to approach dismantling them safely


We gradually cleared the larger stems that were on the ground, until we were left with just the main high stem, its whole weight was being supported by the branch that is pointing down in the photo:

As the branch was up in the air, we had to cut it further down the stem towards the root plate where it was lower. This meant the timber was much wider but was the safest thing to do. We cleared the area around where we were cutting so I had a clear route of escape if the tree made any sudden movements. You can also see our very colour coordinated work gear.

After the tidy up the path was clear again, with Buddy coming to inspect the job:

There is obviously a lot of very fine oak timber left as a result, we hope to extract as much of it as we can and process it into signs, way markers and benches, providing we have time. What we leave will slowly decay providing habitat for insects. The root plate will also provide habitat and possibly a small pond in the crater for other woodland wildlife.

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