Like the new view?

On Thursday morning, my neighbour came rushing in to let me know that the silver birches were coming down. So, at half eight this morning, the saws started and within an hour the trees were mere stumps.

I’ve got mixed feelings about the birches being chopped down. As I garden and learn more about the natural world, I respect trees as well as all other plant life with an increasing passion. And on a more selfish note, the view looked infinitely better with them in the frame.

On the other hand, I am sure the trees must have been sucking water and goodness from my soil. Only the other day when I was digging up the Jerusalem artichokes I found the tips of one of the roots. I wonder therefore now whether there will be any improvement in their cropping capacity.

Anyway, I will no doubt come to appreciate the new view. And I won’t have to worry about high winds bringing the trees down on my house. Besides, a number of the tiny saplings that self-sowed in my garden and were put in pots last year are producing buds, so the silver birches may yet live on through their children!

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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34 Responses to Like the new view?

  1. Kalamain says:

    Did you think ahead and ask for small branches for sinking for future hugel beds?

    Also… Do you know if they did anything specific to the stumps? Sometimes they poison them and sometimes they will stump grind them into nothing.

    But, yeah. The extra light and water will make a difference!

    • Helen says:

      I would dearly have loved to have asked for some branches but after all the distress these trees have caused to relations between neighbours, I decided not to.

      I understand the stumps have been poisoned. Do you think there could be any seepage into my garden?

      • Kalamain says:

        Possible… The roots will DEFINATELY be in your garden… I don’t know if they will directly affect you… But its worth NOT planting food crops too near the fence line if you can. Many people don’t know the effects of the poisons. Not only that but you don’t know how it was applied and if there was any accidents when applying it.

        And you are up early! O.o

        • Helen says:

          Things on my mind πŸ˜‰

          Fortunately, most of the area where roots are likely to be is covered by Wendy house but having seen roots down as far as the artichokes, I guess it would be best to avoid eating them next year.

          How long do you reckon the poison will remain in the soil?

          • Kalamain says:

            Not THAT long… The problem is that food crops holds the things it soaks up… The soil should be fine next year for definate… Maybe even in a couple of months… It depends on what kind of herbicide and how much did they use.
            Most use glyphosate to kill the stump… If they did it right you should be fine. But I have seen some real cowboys just drill in, pour some in neat and walk away. O.o

            Most Glysophate based products are ok after 6 weeks or so.

          • Helen says:

            Okay, thanks.

            Not keen on having glyphosate anywhere near my property (or any other chemicals for that matter) but it sounds like it will still be worth me growing a vegetable garden this year, though I might not be able to call my food organic. Sigh!

          • Kalamain says:

            Yeah… Not sure it will count… On the other side of the garden it should be ok though.

            BTW… You should still be able to compost your biomass though. Although they will need to be slow composted rather than in a bokashi. If you have a normal one.

          • Helen says:

            Yes, I have a normal compost bin πŸ™‚

            What a pain, though, separating out what might have been contaminated by herbicide.

            Why would the bokashi be no good? Everything in there does get slow composted as well, once it’s pickled.

          • Kalamain says:

            I thought bokashi was quick compost. From what I remember glysophate needs heat and microbial action to break down. Bokashi doesn’t use that?

          • Helen says:

            Bokashi only works if there is heat and microbial action. The product isn’t compost once it pickles, though. It needs further composting after it has been in the bokashi bin but it does form true compost much more quickly than ‘unprocessed’ food waste. It also means you can compost all food waste (eg cooked food, meat, dairy). And you get a brilliant liquid which gets rid of limescale (I use it in my toilet), unblocks drains and feeds plants. All for about Β£15 p.a.

          • Kalamain says:

            If you have some of the literature them check if previously treated biomass is OK. I didn’t know bokashi was heat and microbial.

          • Helen says:

            The heat isn’t hot like a hot compost bin but the process doesn’t work in a cold room. The microbes come from probiotics (typically from yoghurt but you can get vegan microbes as well).

            I guess previously treated biomass would be okay as there is nothing in the literature to say only food produced organically can go in the bin. And I wouldn’t be putting any of the stuff from my garden in for a few months (except for the odd kale leaf) as there’s not a lot growing right now.

          • Kalamain says:

            Hmm… In that case I don’t see why you can’t.
            I’ve never used a bokashi to be honest, so no idea about it at all.
            It’s generally the active microbes found in so that neutralise Glyphosate.

            I swear, one day I will spell that bloody word right. >.>

          • Helen says:

            And hopeful one day no one will use it, so you won’t need to think about spelling it!

            In the meantime, all things being equal, I think our health won’t be unduly affected by the demise of the silver birches, thank goodness.

          • Kalamain says:

            No… Just be a little more thoughtful about what you put there.

            Oh… And watch for root suckers. Sometimes they can spring up. They can just be pulled. No big deal there. B-)

          • Helen says:

            You mean new trees from the roots?

          • Kalamain says:

            Yup. Stump regeneration is a viable way of getting new vigour to a small wood. Its also the basis of coppicing.

          • Helen says:

            Oh yes – went to a talk on that last year. If the roots have been poisoned I guess this would be less likely, though of course it is conceivable the poison might not get to them.

  2. lovely update thank you for sharing have a blessed day

  3. You can always plant another tree or perhaps a fruit tree and keep it pruned .. I think your garden is looking great. Lots of light πŸ˜€

  4. I’m always of mixed emotions when trees come down. Sometimes it’s necessary, but it’s always a bit disappointing too. It’s great to have the additional light and the view.

    I wonder if you can get soil-testing kits at your local nursery to see if your soil is okay? Then you wouldn’t have to wonder or worry if it was okay for veg crops.

    We had to take out a diseased tree last year. I tried for three years to get rid of scale. I finally threw in the towel. Sigh.

  5. Helen
    Well you will have full sun for your garden!
    I also hate to see trees removed. In this case, maybe a fruit tree would be nice?

    • Helen says:

      I’ve got my own fruit trees (no space for more, I don’t think) and next door don’t want to grow anything. Is that what you were meaning?

      Unfortunately, the neighbours’ trees on the south east side block a lot of sun, though I am thankful for any extra light I can get now the birches have gone.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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