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Bonn square trees are coming down

The Bonn Square redevelopment has reached that critical stage where the last tree without protesters in it has been felled, and there's a guy in an anorak looking at the woodchipper with a strange expression on his face. I imagine there'll be a confrontation soon.

On the one hand, it's a shame to see mature trees coming down, on the other hand trees --even wild trees-- have a life-span, and out of the forests, where trees are interacting with people, this lifespan is circumscribed, with the usual trade-off of protection and nurturing for lifespan reduction. When they become dangerous, inconvenient, or just too big, down they come. At the same time, there's been a lot of replanting. One of my worries about the new design was that, though it incorporated seven trees to replace the four felled, it's slap-bang in Oxford's booze zone and any saplings would be liable to getting snapped off by drunks. (Has anyone ever done that? Can anyone tell me why people do that?)

But checking with the plan, they're replacing with semi-mature (10-12 metres) trees, which should solve that problem. False Acacias, as it turns out.

I've planted trees and cut them down, fed wood-burners with logs through the winter, cleared and planted copses, and helped fell trees that are hundreds of years old, in the village, where mature ash trees were something of a menace. Trees are gardened in Britain, especially in cities, and part of gardening is clearing mature and unwanted plants to make way for new growth.

But still my thoughts run back to the beautiful yew tree at the bottom of my garden on Belvedere Road, felled by a neighbour who wanted more light. It wasn't old, for a yew tree -- probably not much more than 100 years. I was in a rage but there was nothing I could do, it wasn't my tree.

But I guess from the tree's perspective it had had time to get off a whole bunch of berries by the time it came down.


( 6 worms — Feed the birds )
4th Jan, 2008 11:49 (UTC)
it had had time to get off a whole bunch of berries by the time it came down

And how many of us will be able to say the same?
4th Jan, 2008 12:37 (UTC)
Not I said the fly ...

I got The Life of Plants on DVD for christmas, and I've been working through it. It's probably been encouraging me to look at things from the tree's perspective.
4th Jan, 2008 13:52 (UTC)
Nice tree the Robinia but grows too big for the average suburban garden. Good choice for a development from an appearance point of view.
Shame about the yew. Nowadays people generally don't expect to live somewhere for a lifetime and pass the house on to children so there is little incentive to plant slow growing things like yew. Makes an ideal hedge but people plant leylandii because it only takes a couple of years to grow. If trees are gardened (and I think they are) then I don't hold out much hope for the yew in the long run.
4th Jan, 2008 14:45 (UTC)
Yew grows faster than box, and I've planted box. Hmmm, that's a thought, actually. I'd been thinking holly for the bottom of the garden but maybe I should go for yew.
5th Jan, 2008 11:48 (UTC)
I'd much prefer a yew hedge to a holly hedge. Holly is not as dense as yew and when you need to prune (as you often need to do with hedges) holly is a pain to dispose of and doesn't burn easily unless it is left for a year to dry out.
5th Jan, 2008 11:00 (UTC)
On the 'avenue' in which I live, most of the street trees have gone. I get the impression that they were considered some kind of a threat to property and it's presumably easier to do without them than to deal with litigation.
OTOH, the houses here are all low level, some way back from the pavement and the trees were all small and young. Grrr.
( 6 worms — Feed the birds )