IMG_3348One thing I did not show in full yesterday on GBFD, but noticed when I was rambling taking the necessary photos, was this minor casualty of Hurricane Gonzalo on Tuesday. You would never have guessed from that fetching picture of bark and ivyIMG_3339 that the tree itself had snapped in the gusts that were our share of the anticipated wind damage. The gusts were not especially severe but this birch, like the others in the woodland had grown tall and spindly because of the limited light it received. Usually when it’s breezy you can see the tops of them rustling whilst the trunks themselves are undisturbed but now, with the cherry and ash removed, they are exposed to the wind when it blows from a westerly direction – and for the tree nearest the two that were felled, this was the result……

Clearly, the effects of removing the two larger trees, both planted at the same time as the birch in 2000, are not wholly positive – and although we will reap the benefits of the increase in light you can see from the picture below that our neighbour’s beech is in a class of its own and will continue to create its own shade as well as huge quantities of leaves and beech nuts. It does allow us its wonderful autumn colour though, which we can still look forward to – but not quite yet, by the look of it…

IMG_3354Behind me and the point from which the photographs were taken, work has commenced on the ‘Secret Project’, the delayed start (not that every project commences as soon it is conceived) being the result of having to link it with something else, the reasons for which will become clear in due course. This is why the extension to the bold border and the new bed in the fruit cage happened before they otherwise might have done. No clues – sorry, you will have to remain in the dark….

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12 Responses to Snap!

  1. Christina says:

    How sad about your birch Cathy, could you cut it near the base and hope it will form a multi-stem? Multi-stemed birches are beautiful.

  2. CathyT says:

    Yes, sad about the birch – but there’s always the possibility of something better in a garden when that kind of thing happens, just as Christina says. Loved your foliage in the previous post by the way – the variegated ground elder is really eye-catching, isn’t it? I keep being tempted, but then get scared!

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Cathy – thanks for dropping in. The birch will survive though, whether I cut it lower or not. I was a little puzzled about the ground elder reference – then looked back through the post and wondered if it was the leaf on the left in the third picture from the top? If you hover your mouse over those pictures it will say what they are – and that one (fortunately) is a clematis, just beginning to change colour. I did have the variegated ground elder once – but took it out – so read from that what you will!

      • CathyT says:

        I’ve now read the caption, sorry I read too quickly! In my opinion the multi-stemmed idea is a non-runner. Birch is the first in the woodland succession. Needs a lot of light to make a good tree – colonises bare spaces. So no chance of good-looking multi-stemmed trees here. But would love to see the pictures to prove me wrong in 10 years time!

        • Cathy says:

          I suppose it will have more light now the other 2 trees are down, but perhaps I should cut my losses and replant a different tree here….

  3. Annette says:

    Didn’t realize you had a hurricane. Sorry about the tree but I’m glad you didn’t suffer more damage! As for secrets, I rather like them and look forward to your secret project. 😉

    • Cathy says:

      The UK had just the tail end of it, Annette – there were weather warnings but I don’t think it was a severe as expected. Certainly minimal here.

  4. Annette says:

    PS: I’d do as Christina recommends by the way.

  5. bittster says:

    Sorry about your tree… all that work and tough pruning decisions and then one of the ‘keepers’ gets snapped :/
    I have a birch I cut down three years ago and it’s just back to white trunks this year. I like the multi trunk look for individuals, when you’re able to plant a few it doesn’t really matter as much though.
    I love a nice mystery!

  6. Ooh, you are tantalising us with your hinted plans! 😉 Your poor birch tree! The down side of all your clearing. To cut or to ditch? What a dilemma! I’d opt for cutting – you’ve nothing to lose.

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