Felling the Big Fella Part 1

Not necessarily ‘The bigger they come, the harder they fall’

Until a few days ago, just to the left of and in front of the old fire station were two trees,
a sycamore and a very large poplar. Probably a hybrid black poplar, to be more precise
(to left in picture above, leaves shown below).

This was shedding branches from time to time, some onto the roof of the Pioneer Club.
Dead branches of smaller sizes were to be seen all over the canopy, although the tree
appeared to be otherwise in good health. A large branch, high up, had partly failed, but
not fallen (see below).

The tree was growing on HCC land, not on the Heath (just) and they decided that it
should be felled. This took two days. On the first, a lot of the smaller branches were
taken off the poplar, and the sycamore, as this was close and got in the way.
The result at the end of the first day is seen below.

As the poplar was close to Heathlands Drive, the access to the school, the felling method
for the heavier sections of branch and trunk was to lower them to the ground with a crane,
rather than let them free fall when cut. I had measured the height of the poplar to be 21m.
This meant that a very large mobile crane was necessary to do the lowering (see below).

Sections were cut by chainsaw, working from a two-man ‘cherrypicker’, and lowered down to
the skeleton-skip lorry (below).

Job done, or almost; the stump will be ground in due course, but before that happens I have cleaned and photographed the top surface and will be showing what that tells us of the tree’s history and, of course, its age.

Episode two, Reading the Rings, will appear shortly! Meanwhile, make your guess of the age.

RM

Posted in Ariston site, Trees