The cats are doing what they always do on one of these misty-wet West-Country days – snoozing.
My gallant tree-man has arrived despite the weather (no, not Treebeard, Ben.)
Two years ago one of the two eucalyptus trees we inherited with the house blew down in the February storms and has since been consumed in the wood-burners of the Close.
The second has gone on growing enormously high, as they do, and seems like a prime victim for the next round of gales, so Ben is trimming down and freeing it of ivy.
I never do anything to trees – remove them, prune them, light a fire with their wood – without wondering whether Tolkien is watching and whether or not he would understand that I’m not hacking them down indiscriminately or unthinkingly. The close I live in was heavily overplanted by the developers seventeen years ago, long before we moved here, and most people have had to be ‘cruel to be kind’ in terms of thinning out trees and shrubs that are simply choking each other. It still brings a pang even though it’s common-sense.
Some trees live so long, and all trees are beautiful. They deserve to live their natural lifespan. People need to think before they plant, I suppose, but it’s hard to envisage what the pretty little trees you plant in a row this year will be like in twenty years time.
Hoping my remaining Eucalyptus will be grateful for its trim and will survive for many more years.