Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Why is it that the jobs we so often put off for a long time end up being simple and quickly solved and the tasks that we think will take just a few minutes, end up being the problems that require a visit to B&Q, extra expense and inevitably tax our patience. My UK 'To Do' list has included a job for months that I finally attacked this afternoon and that was to fell the eucalyptus tree in the front garden. I can't actually remember what I planted but feel it may have been E. pauciflora subsp niphophila, the snow gum which is very hardy and this one did survive the  2010/2011 winter. It was planted a few years back as a temporary filler when the previous birch tree died (a weedkiller attack) and having reached gutter level was now threatening the telephone wires, not that any of them are still in use.

Tickling the telephone wires

I had procrastinated long enough and as the neighbours had moved their car, the footpath and road was clear enough for me to fell the tree. Now it wasn't that big, having a trunk around 15cm in diameter, so it was purely a handsaw job and I do have strong views about not using chainsaws unless you're properly trained and have the correct protective equipment. Despite having managed an arboricultural team for many years, I have to admit I've never learned to properly use a chainsaw. If you can't do the job, become a manager - yes I know!

It takes an hour to plant a tree, years to grow and moments to fell it!

Anyway, I made the appropriate sink cut, and then sawed my way through the trunk of the tree just above this and neatly dropped it, across the pavement and into the road. All that gym training finally of some use! Despite the luxurious growth in the bed it was inhabiting, I managed to avoid damaging no more than a couple of stems of my Euphorbia mellifera. It was a textbook job even if it was a tiddler of a tree. The next job was to tidy up and to my delight the tree cut up quite easily and didn't even fill the back of my small Yaris. A very fragrant trip to the recycling centre followed during which the concentrated smell of the eucalyptus, thoroughly cleared my sinuses. (Maybe I should do this more often!) no queue at the tip - straight in and out.

Not bad without the eucalyptus and you can see the Cercis in the background all tangled up with a Tetrapanax and a golden Leycesteria.  the laburnum is in the neighbour's garden but actually compliments mine nicely. Pity about the other neighbour's red railings!

And so the job as I'd been putting off for months, was completed, tidied up and rubbish disposed of in less than an hour.  Why did I make such a fuss about it? I shall leave removal of the stump until next spring, when there will be less lush growth around it and I can actually delve my way in and take it out. I fear this may take longer than actually felling the tree itself. Earlier in the summer I planted a Cercis 'Hearts of Gold' in the front garden which I now see is in the wrong place, so I think when the eucalyptus stump has gone, this will be the tree to put in its place. Small, nicely defined shape and a 'Heart(s) of Gold' - just like me!


  1. That's a neat job there, especially you managed to have very little damage to the plants underneath it!

  2. I think it's Eucalyptus perriniana rather then niphophila. One it changes to the adult phase leaf they can start to look similar. This would normally have divided to form three or more primary stems if it was niphophila or pauciflora. The brown bark, central primary stem and very bluish foliage suggest perriniana.

    Good job all the same whatever it is.