The big old ash tree in the middle of our plot had a bit of a bad day a month ago and it lost an enormous bough, bring a load of smaller branches down with it on the way. We were out there and watched it happen (while eating sausages) having had seemingly no notice. In hindsight we realised we had both heard cracks, but had written it off as noises from the rec where kids were playing. Noises like that are a bit difficult to place. Anyway, the bunnies were underneath so we were fairly horrified when it happened; it all felt a bit slow motion. The bunnies, and the ducks, who were sleeping at the base of the trunk, luckily escaped the ordeal unscathed. The bough crushed both their arks though, with them backed into corners. We were really lucky as we could easily have been underneath and could easily have been killed by the weight and the height it fell from.
Nothing like a bit of ‘that was close’ to make you want some expert advice, so we got a tree surgeon in to evaluate the situation. The tree has some significant fungus on the trunk, which he said was a sign that the tree was in decline, but he said there was no indication that more branches would fall off in the immediate future. However, there are a couple of dead branches on the tree, an enormous bough that needs cutting up and some fairly long leaders which are getting quite heavy, so could in theory be the next to fall. So, they are coming on Wednesday to do the work. It’s a shame to have to reduce the size of the tree, but on the other hand, it’s potentially a bit of a safety hazard, and the wood will go to very good use in the stove over next winter. These are pictures of where the bough fell off and just generally so we can compare with after the work.