Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The Fallen Oak

Stardate 6th April

Way back before Christmas I had an oak tree fall into my neighbour’s field. The field had already been sown with wheat and because the ground was wet it was impossible to remove the tree with out ruining the crop all round. The months passed and the wheat grew ever bigger and finally the ground began to dry out.

I’d spent ages inspecting the tree from my side of the ditch and couldn’t see where to begin on cutting up the tree. The problem was that the trunk wasn’t straight; it sort of zig-zaged and the branches were at odd angles and crossing each other. Not really the best thing to have as the first tree you ever deal with along with the first time using the petrol chainsaw.

I procrastinated for ages and then called on Regis for a second opinion. Even he refused to touch it but found a woodman who in exchange for the trunk and major branches would remove the tree. So the day after my quiche baking when I thought I would have very little to do I heard the sound of a chain saw outside and went down to help and to collect my share of the wood.

I was totally amazed at just how quickly he dealt with the tree. It did help that he after he’d cut off the side branches he took away the trunk in two pieces. Oh the joy of the correct tools for the job!

As the site was cleared I stacked my branches by the ditch and helped gather up and burn the brash that was left. I then helped the woodman load up his flatbed with his remaining wood (the pile to the right of the fire). It was then that I noticed that not only did he not have any safety gear – quite normal for rural France – he was also only wearing carpet slippers, making my steelies look a bit of overkill.

The next day was spent lobbing my branches across the ditch back onto my land and then transporting them to the back of the house. It doesn’t sound like a lot of work but oak is heavy, very heavy.

1 comment:

Barbara Martin said...

Good for you that it's oak as it burns long and hot.