I sing of the tree still standing

Spoke to our new neighbours today; nice couple with two kids who moved in a month or so back. As they put up a new garden shed beside the fence, she leaned over and said ‘I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know we’re going to have that big tree cut down shortly’… Well, I guess she hasn’t really met us properly yet.

It’s a large tree, a conifer; certainly larger than you’d normally find at the end of a back garden, even in the village. Allowed to grow and grow unchallenged for decades it now stands perhaps forty feet tall, and is the home for many of the birds that frequent our garden. It’s the first thing we see from our bedroom window, visible even from our bed, and it blocks a lot of the wind and the visual impact of the estate behind us. We often lie in bed of a morning, watching the teeming bird-life flit back and forth – robin, song-thrush, starling, sparrow, blackbird, finch, blue- and coalheaded tit, fieldfare, yellowhammer, pipistrelle and jay. I shall miss it greatly, should it ever be felled. May it not be.

I guess she was disappointed and perhaps a little put out when I told her that I was less than pleased, but that it was her land and she must do as she saw fit. It is a truism that you can’t choose your neighbours, nor how they live their lives, and I’m sure we are still going to get on fine. But if the ‘verse should move the wyrd sufficiently, I would be very happy to see the tree live on. So may it be.

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5 responses to “I sing of the tree still standing”

  1. Hi Bish,

    Hmm, the evergreen tree thing. The bottom of the garden where I live is a clump of 1 biggish leylandi, 3 young $random_cedar trees & a biggish laurel. The birds love the leylandi to roost in but nothing else will grow near it. They together obscure the east end of the garden & morning sunlight. I can’t work out what to do there at all. In my ideal world they would be native fruit & nutwoods!

    Perhaps I will take a saw to the laurel, get a couple of hazel bushes in there, try and replace the clump gradually over the next 10 years so the cover stays and the biodiversity increases rather than decreasing? It’s a tough one.


  2. Even sadder news over here 😦
    Today started off fine, with the legalisation of our druidic foundation Eadhadh.
    But around noon they started to cut down most of the trees in our backyard. My wife Ivy has been protesting against this ignorant act that is issued by the local authorities as they want to add soil as things are slowly soften away. So they decided that certain trees had to go. After months of protest meetings and interaction with different authorities and politicians we must be glad that we at least still have some left in the end as a few blocks away ALL the trees were cut! Guess we might be moving to another area in future when we can afford it as we loved this area for all its greenery. Makes a person angry (to be translated as powerless in a no win situation).


  3. It’s a shame when the authorities fell a section of greenery, especially when – as I fear happens too often – it’s because it’s cheaper to fell than manage. We saw the same thing in Bristol before we left for rural Gloucestershire; even then, when they felled some trees because they feared the leaf-fall would be slippery under foot they left four foot tall stumps behind to prevent a tripping hazard! They’re still there, two years on, a monument to uncaring goverance. I’m sorry to hear about your trees, Torc. May the rest thicken, blossom and grace your home.

    Alice. Yes, we have the dreaded Leylandii in our back garden, and the birds love that too. It’s in the west, but fails to shield us from the sunset over the hills behind the village. Bluebells and snowdrops, daffodils and crocus all dwell beneath it, along with hedgehogs and sloeworms. Frogs, toads and newts pass under them on their migrations from pond to pond, and the bird feeders hanging from them are always popular. But Leylandii can be agressive and unwelcome in the wrong place and I can understand you miss the sunrise. Replace them with your favourite nut and fruit trees and recall that everything has it’s time. After considerable soul searching I took out half a dozen similar trees in our front front garden at the end of last year, but planted more elsewhere and now have a more enjoyable and fruitful garden.


  4. Just bumped into my neighbour as he left for work, who told me they had reconsidered the tree felling and were now only going to lop the top section. That will leave the lower structure as screen and windbreak, and our bird friends will retain a goodly amount of nesting and perching space! Wyrd adjustment successful! 🙂


  5. That’s good news indeed 🙂


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