A not so peaceful day in Bolton Percy Churchyard
I knew that villager and very fine arboriculturist Jason Brown had submitted a very generous tender for extracting four very large trees from the cemetery. It was by complete chance when I arrived for my monthly stint - a little early at nine - to find the road cordoned off and Jason swinging like a monkey halfway high up the enormous Leylandii. Already it had lost the bottom half of its branches? Neatly cut and precisely dropped direct to the road.
Could I get in to spray? Jason’s two lads in perpetual motion were dragging and thrusting branches into the shredder. They stepped aside to let me enter through the squeaky gate. Not that you could hear it today. The chainsaw and shredder created quite a cacophony.
Immensley professional, Jason was safely strapped to a strong secure sling on the tree. I was later impressed how he zipped up and down the fifty foot monster. I could barely climb that high if I had the rest of the day.
I later confessed it was I that had forty years earlier planted the tree! Not only that but I had rooted the cutting on my allotment. That year I was very keen on the rooting properties of horizontal shaded polythene laid over cuttings inserted direct into the ground. I had propagated hundreds of plants - fortunately very few were Leylands! Three had gone into the cemetery and their removal was Jason’s task for the day! A passer by overheard my admission and enquired if I felt at all sentimental about the tree’s demise. No, I was absolutely delighted.
It had been very foolish of me to plant them at all. No one should plant such potential monsters in a cemetery. I recently blogged about conifers as a habitat for wildlife and suggested that gardeners might plant certain varieties and be prepared to fell them several years later and plant some more.
But forty years that’s ridiculous! Perhaps I should offer to pay? I hope my forty years maintaining the garden will be my contribution.
Blogging in mind I took a few pictures of the rest of the garden. Unfortunately the sun was very strong from the wrong direction. I remembered when Marianne Majerus came to photograph the garden she was up at six in the morning to get the light the right way. Ah well I would get some more next month and publish later. I would have pictures of the finished job....
|Every year Clematis fargesioides and wild honeysuckle are in friendly combat|
|The agapanthus has been there longer than the Leyland Cypress|
|Garden plants grow naturalistically|
I received an e-mail that evening. Unfortunately two of the other trees housed wasp nests that would need to be destroyed and a pigeon had a nest... somewhere. Tree work can be dangerous enough without wasps buzzing around you! The job is partially completed. Progress was slow as the gravestones are a real problem. The first tree will remain for a while as a totem. I will publish today and add pictures of the finished job later.
We will be left with some fine planting opportunities - so much more light and moisture. The thirty year grouping of Rosa ‘Nevada’ that has been in steep decline as the Leyland has got bigger will rise like a phoenix.
We are going to be left with a wonderful mulch pile. A job for the ‘C team’!
Tree work in pictures
Large trees need to be dismantled. Not just chopped down. This was the stage when I arrived - about half an hours work
The lower branches were dropped in the road
The shreddings will be used for mulching in the churchyard. They will reduce weeds from seed and not in this case be composted
This Leyland cypress is the next one to come down
You can see the large thuja down the churchyard path. It is probably a hundred years old. It has grown very little in my time and is becoming unstable. Due to its venerability and species it has a better public image than the Leylands and will only be beheaded!
Forty foot high Jason is safely secured
I was intrigued how they would take the head off the Leyland and would need a picture. Sadly the operation was done so quickly I missed the opportunity! I could not envisage that an arborist’s accuracy is such that they can drop a trunk on a pin head. A few deft cuts with a small chainsaw and the top fell precisely into the road.
I was getting my camera out, Jason shouted “ten pence for the picture” as the top fell. I dared not tell him I had missed it!
Ten seconds later I was ready!
Even Jason surprised himself at the size of the tree
I wonder if this totem will be there for my next visit. I would have liked to have seen the trunk sections coming down,
I left for home at lunchtime. The two rounded tops of the thuja are now gone
Open day announcements
As a working churchyard the cemetery garden can be visited at any time.
This notice is about my own garden at Boundary Cottage
Tuesday August 23rd. Next week! Open in aid of Yorkshire Arboretum. Open all day including evening. Refreshments only served between one and four. Peter Williams has agreed to open his very fine garden down the road (from 1pm) and no doubt his wonderful plants will be on sale. For those without the bumper all garden ticket from Yorkshire Arboretum the entrance will be five pounds. It will cover those who want to add Peter’s garden
Boundary Cottage yellow book Open Day is on Sunday September 11th. Directions are on the NGS website
NGS directions to Boundary Cottage
NGS directions to Peter's Garden Weathervane House
(You have missed his NGS Open day!)
Link to Yorkshire arboretum website
My recent post about birds and conifers
My post about Marianne Majerus's visit and a route to her own website with pictures of cemetery
The cemetery 'C team' gets to work