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Felling the Tree. Wednesday January 29, 2014

We used to have a couple of stately two hundred year old chestnut trees in the park adjoining our house. Now we only have one.

What neither we nor the council had realised was that a fungus infection had got into the roots of one of these trees, causing such rot that, basically, this tree was balanced so precariously that one good push by a toddler would have knocked it down.

That good push was more than adequately supplied by last Saturday's storm.

It's pretty upsetting that such a lovely ornament to our neighbourhood should be lost.
But this isn't about losing the tree.

The tree fell down, right across the main road into our town and onto a car with five people in, at 3.55pm. By 4.05pm two ambulances had arrived, as had a community policeman, my husband and another neighbour. While the ambulance crew attended to the people in the car (thankfully, minor injuries only), everyone else started organising the traffic.
Then other neighbours started arriving with their gardening tools.

Our town councillor turned up, and was shortly joined by another – who was still wearing his rosette. Someone else made a call to a mate who owned a chainsaw.

Before long we actually had to turn away offers of further help. We got the kids sweeping up debris, while I took on the tea-making duty.

We had that fallen giant cleared and the road open again by 5.30pm.

There was still work for the council, as a trunk with a five foot diameter is a bit beyond a domestic chainsaw, but we were pretty proud of ourselves. We hadn't just stood back and waited for the "authorities" to sort it out: we'd sorted it out ourselves without waiting for permission. We had boosted the community spirit, met a few more neighbours and yes - it felt good.

It's a great antidote to feeling powerless, getting a few people together to just do something. If you're like me, you often worry about whether you are actually allowed to do it and so end up hesitant, even frozen; afraid to make a difference. But as somebody once told me (with a wink) it's much easier to get forgiveness than permission.

So what are we waiting for? Let's just do it.

A Moodscope user.

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Suzy Wed, Jan 29th 2014 @ 8:15am

Hey Mary, what a grand ole post this is. Although I was heartily relieved there were no serious injuries!
Your penultimate sentence took my breath away...this was one of my late dad's favourite expressions. And he too would say it with a wink or twinkle in his eye.
Thank you Mary.
Hearty regards.
Suzy x

curious212000 Wed, Jan 29th 2014 @ 8:48am

Mary and Fellow Bloggers,

I love these individual statements, Thank you, David.

horeston walters Wed, Jan 29th 2014 @ 10:11am

Often times we make a wish to our Creator, for some improvement in our daily life, or for our future to be better than our present condition, the answer can come back to a common question, that when properly analysed and answered, the result can be awesome: take for example the incident of focus; what are the real benefits of all the parties concerned, how was the community drawn together to exhibit the necessary hidden qualities it possesses as individual; when the individuals now work as a team, the achievement is far beyond what the current active senses can comprehend. its like wanting a university degree, its the journey to getting the degree which is the most important part........ we owe it to our selves to take a journey into finding out who we really are......then we will be in a position to co-exist in harmony with nature and our fellow beings!!

Anonymous Wed, Jan 29th 2014 @ 1:37pm

Mary - thanks for this - I thought it was a good reminder of how many of us live in our 4 walls, anonymous to those who live behind other walls - and how different it could be! Shame about the tree, but great outcome!

luke beecham Wed, Jan 29th 2014 @ 2:59pm

This is all very good but please if it happens again and someone is seriously injured, leave the failed parts of the tree remains in situ as these are important evidence as to why the tree failed and it is only from these that it can be established whether a tree fail could have been foreseeable and prevented. A council has a duty to check its trees' safety to prevent deaths and injuries so I should check that they have a regular procedure to do so, because some don't.

Anonymous Wed, Jan 29th 2014 @ 3:34pm

I don't think you should do the work of the authorities. This is what we pay our taxes for. Also people are paid to do these things & by doing the work for them you are taking away their jobs.

PWD Wed, Jan 29th 2014 @ 4:51pm

Great post and well done to all concerened, No doubt you saved a lot of people a lot of inconvienience that day, keep up the good work.


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