We woke on Sunday to a blustery morning and the moan of a chainsaw, thought nothing of it and started the day – a cup of tea in bed. The chain saw moaned on!
Eventually the sun burned off the remaining cloud and I ventured out to take a few photographs. I noticed a Tree Surgeon’s van parked on the verge. Glad to have identified the source of the chain sawing, it took several blurred moments for me to realise that it was our garden he was working in.
We have a magnificent line of poplars that mark our front boundary and as I neared the gate I saw that one of them had fallen in the night, completely blocking the road. Thankfully one of the neighbours is a much earlier riser than I am and had called the tree feller on our behalf.
The tree had miraculously not damaged anything other than our own fence, thank goodness. With dread I learned that it had been rotten through and through.
I had not realised weeks ago as I photographed the magnificent bracket fungus that had sprouted from its trunk, that it was actually a ‘ heart-wood fungus’, a sure sign that the tree was rotting on the inside.
Nervously I asked for the other trees to be checked and although we will only be certain when we see the summer foliage, the expert opinion is that they seem sound.
Our tall, straight fringe of trees can be seen from a long way and often I have spotted them and felt the warmth of home from a distance. A little gap-toothed now, they have not lost their appeal.
Oddly, I feel the need to mourn our lost tree. The respect shown by the young man who felled it, the attack to its core by a heart-wood fungus, the space in the line of trees still marking our bounds, the hope that summer will confirm that the companion trees are safe…all these prompt me to write a poem…soon.