A Strong Wind in the Right Direction

Telegraph Pole - Big Wind lowresI’d been worried about that dead elm right next to the telegraph pole for some time now. “That ivy looks a bit heavy,” said Nick on one of his visits to help me saw up wood. “You don’t want a strong wind or it could take your cable down.”

So I removed as much of the ivy as I could myself and we arranged for Nick to some along with Paul from Sustainable Bungay’s NR35 group in December this year to fell the tree and cut up the wood.

Only the wind didn’t wait until December. When I heard a storm was coming with possible wind speeds of 75 miles an hour, I immediately checked the direction. It would be blowing from the south/southwest. That was a relief. It meant if the ivy-clad tree did fall it would fall away from the telegraph pole safely into the neighbouring field. But it looked sturdy enough anyway.

This morning the wind was very strong (though probably not 75 miles an hour) as I prepared for a Skype meeting with the rest of the Transition Free Press crew (the telephone and internet were working, and all was well with the nearby world as far as my eyes could see). Then I heard a crunch which seemed to come from next door, not very loud, not very serious. A cursory check revealed nothing, so I went back to the admin.

Image2013-750 lowres enh WindfallWhen I next looked out of the window, the telegraph cable seemed to have been freed from the tangle of dead branches it had been living amongst since the elm died a few years ago, and was perfectly intact. Then I saw that yes, the main part of the tree with its remaining ivy had fallen, away from the pole and completely parallel to the existing hedge, creating the beginnings of the sort of dead hedge Nick, Paul and I had laid with the rest of the NR35 group in May in Bungay. There was no damage to anything. I don’t think we could have designed it any better ourselves.

Though are some remaining dead elms to fell near the pole, so I’m still looking forward to NR35’s visit in December.

Images: One down, several to go – dead elms near telegraph pole; beginnings of a dead hedge (both by Mark Watson)

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