After two early starts over the weekend, and not being a lark in the mornings, I was quite looking forward to a long lie-in on Monday morning. I woke to the sound of an electric saw somewhere in the distance. Checking the clock it was 8.30, and I hadn’t planned on surfacing for another hour! Vaguely wondering what was happening outside, I dosed for another few minutes before realising the sound of the saw was nearer. The brain engaged and I realised it sounded like branches being trimmed from the trees on the Green outside. Why? It’s not that long since they trimmed the trees?
Suddenly I was wide awake and out of bed! Not just trimming! They must be pollarding the trees – something that the council do to the lime trees every fifteen years or so. I’ve seen the trees cut back once since I came to Peebles 25 years ago, and have dreaded this moment since I moved to the flat ten years ago. Looking out of the window my fears were confirmed. There on the path through the Green was a sign - Path closed. Tree felling in progress. I don’t have a direct view of the trees on this side of the river from my window but looking to the side, I could see the gnarled fists of a few trees that had already been cut back. They look so …. so….. stark… and stupid!
Throwing some clothes on, and grabbing the camera I headed for the balcony in time to see the guys start on the trees nearest to me! A ladder was leaning against one, and the council men, the tree fellers (old Irish pun –the three fellows) were climbing into their harnesses. Before long one of the guys was up among the branches, and attached by his harness to the tree.
Soon almost all the branches had been trimmed, with just the leading one left, that the cutter’s harness was attached to, but bit by bit it came down too. I spoke to one of the council men, telling him how I’d not looked forward to this day, and got a long spiel in reply about it being good for the tree. Limes liked to be cut back . It would give the trees a better shape, and they would stand for another 200 years! (I wonder what Peebles will be like in 200 years time? It actually hasn’t changed that much in the last 200 – though the trees weren’t there then!) I asked if I could have a piece of a branch, thinking that Marjorie’s husband could maybe make lace bobbins out of it once it dries out. I’m not sure if the structure of lime wood is suitable for making something like a bobbin! Failing bobbins, some slices made into drinks coasters might be the next best thing. I could pyrograph the date on them – a bit of the history of Peebles!!!?
Although the major part of the trimmed branches were collected and shredded, there were still some debris left on Monday night. Sometime in the late evening I heard noises outside and realised that there were people picking up logs and throwing them into their cars! Well, why not? The council will use the shreddings they have as mulch for their nursery beds, and will probably sell bags of the stuff too. I think the trees belong to all of us and so I’m glad some people manage to salvage some of the wood.
Talk again soon.