We have some wonderful veteran trees at Hatfield Forest, dating back centuries. Sadly one of our oak trees succumbed to the strong winds last weekend and a huge chunk of its unusual double trunk came crashing to the ground on Monday morning. Because it’s such a large tree, probably some seven hundred years old, a lot of it remains, so work has been going on this week to decide how best to save it.
Unfortunately, tests have revealed a lot of rot within the remaining wood, so the best solution is to substantially reduce the remaining canopy. This will give this grand old tree the best chance of surviving long term, although it will no doubt look very brutal at first.
This afternoon I took a stroll to see how the tree surgeons were getting on. When I arrived they were quietly eating lunch in their vans, so I didn’t disturb them. Instead I did a circuit of the tree, outside the safety perimeter, photographing what remains. It’s a very sad sight at the moment, but hopefully this work will help keep it alive for years to come. I’ll pop back in the coming days to see how work is progressing and will report back.
If you'd like to see this tree in its prime, I photographed it a couple of years ago, on a misty October morning. I'm kicking myself for not including the whole tree now!
18 October 2018