The Tuesday tree: jobs to do in February
February came barging in this morning with everything it could think of: rain and sleet, hail and high winds. Going outside the house was not a tempting prospect.
Some things can only be done outside, however. So I wrapped up and ventured out into the buffeting rain with the dogs. The wind was roaring like the sea in the high masts of the Douglas firs and cypresses. I couldn’t even keep steady enough to take a picture in focus!
We soon took refuge in the most sheltered bit of the woods: an avenue of yew trees, whose close-growing evergreen branches always offer protection from the worst of any weather. There we found that the groundsman had had the same idea. February is a month for general tidying in the policies: chopping down dead or damaged trees, and cutting up the wood for firewood or other uses. Rather than be out in the middle of the wind and rain cutting up trees in an open field, the groundsman had seized the chance today to deal with the poor yew that fell victim to the weight of the November snows. We rarely burn the beautiful reddish wood of the yews: there is a craftsman-woodturner living nearby who makes beautiful bowls out of wood from the estate, so some of this tree might perhaps go to him. Whatever becomes of it, it will not be wasted.
(By the way, you can see why country boys love tractors, can’t you? With their primary colours and simple shapes, they are children’s toys made real.)
See also: trees, deconstructed