Timber!!!

Walking to work on Friday lunchtime four weeks ago I turned off the main road and was met by the unusual sight of two of the firm’s vans and several cars parked along one side of the lane leading down to the works, something which I’ve never seen in all the years I’ve worked there. In the distance I could hear the noise of some machinery so wondered if maybe the car park was being resurfaced, however when I got round the bend further down the lane I came across something which I certainly didn’t expect to see. A huge tree several yards from the lane had toppled over and completely blocked it and there was no access for vehicles either in or out.
Now I don’t normally take my camera to work unless I know for certain that I’ll be using it so I hadn’t got it with me, but this was one occasion when I wish I did have it. As well as the tree across the lane there were two huge John Deere tractors, one with a front forklift and the other with a long rear trailer, a JCB telehandler, a cherry picker, a Bobcat skid steer loader, and six guys with chainsaws all dealing with the tree to get it moved – I could have got some great shots if I’d had the camera.
The guy in the cherry picker was in what would have been the top of the tree, sawing branches off it. The lane down to work bisects a steep bank with woodland on each side ; there are several bungalows at the top of the left bank and apparently the top of the tree had crashed down onto the conservatory roof of one of them. At first I didn’t think I’d be able to get through to work but the guys had cut a big chunk out of part of the main tree trunk and they stopped the machinery long enough to let me through. Apart from the two bosses and the son of one of them everyone else finishes at 1pm on Fridays but with the tree across the lane no-one was going anywhere, however by 1.30 the guys dealing with it had cut up and moved enough of it to allow various cars to drive through.
The photos below were taken by one of the bosses on his phone ; he’s not a particularly good photographer so they don’t really show just how big the tree was. He emailed them to Maddie and she emailed them to me ; it’s just a pity that was one occasion when I didn’t have my own camera on hand.
Tree 1 - Copy
The bottom of the tree with part of the bank still attached
Tree 2 - Copy
A bit of the tarmac lane just about visible underneath this lot
Tree 3 - Copy
Part of the tree across the lane
Tree 4 - Copy
There didn’t seem to be any particular reason why the tree had suddenly come down. It hadn’t blown down in the wind as there wasn’t any, not even the hint of a breeze, but we had just had a prolonged period of wet weather so maybe the constant rain had softened the ground underneath the roots, making it unstable. Apparently it had fallen soon after 9am and just missed one of our fitters who had driven down the lane seconds before, and since then the firm next door to us had turned away three deliveries of steel as no-one could get up or down the lane. I’m just glad the tree didn’t fall down the day before ; I finish work just after 9am on Thursdays and walk up the lane on my way home – if the tree had come down then I might not be writing this blog post now.

14 thoughts on “Timber!!!

  1. Hopefully nobody was hurt when the tree came down. How awful for the people in the bungalows to have that fall on their conservatory roof. Thankfully you and your work colleagues weren’t too inconvenienced by it. I imagine you’re right about all the heavy rain being the cause of the tree fall.

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  2. Thankfully no-one was hurt and luckily it missed one of our fitters who had driven down the lane just seconds before it came down. I don’t know how much damage it did to the conservatory roof of the bungalow as the guys were still working on the tree when I left work. I spoke to the boss of the firm next door to us a few days later, he’d been the one to arrange for the tree to be moved and he said up to then he hadn’t been able to find out who actually owns the land – whoever it is would probably be landed with a hefty insurance claim and a bill for getting the tree moved 😦

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  3. Thank goodness the tree didn’t come down the day before! I could see everything in my mind as you described it. We’ve a lot of construction happening around us lately so those enormous machines, I am surprised to say, are easy for me to visualize. I would’ve loved to have seen a photo of you walking “through” the tree trunk. πŸ™‚

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  4. I’m glad the tree didn’t come down the day before – it didn’t occur to me until later that day what could have happened if it had come down at the same time then 😦 All that’s left of it now is a 2ft high stump of the main trunk, pushed back into where it came from. After a short dry spell we’ve had a lot more rain round here since then so I just hope no more trees fall down.

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  5. Our fitter certainly had a lucky escape – he drove down the lane and had just got out of his van when he heard the crash of the tree going over. I dread to think what would have happened if he’d been just that few seconds later 😦

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  6. What a shame that another large beautiful tree has been lost. So good that no-one was hurt.
    Just had some lunchtime news on the TV – awful fire in student digs in Bolton last night. Hopefully nowhere near you.

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  7. The fire was in the town centre two miles away Jayne, so not near me. As for the tree, it’s a shame it’s been lost but hopefully it will have been recycled into logs for someone’s wood burner or maybe shredded for use in stables somewhere. The bank where it fell from is quite steep with a small stream at the bottom, maybe whoever the landowner is should check the land in view of all the recent wet weather to make sure no more trees fall – another occurrence might not have such a lucky outcome.

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