In Abbey Fields we have a beautiful Lime Avenue which leads from Bridge Street to St Nicholas Church and which provides a barrier between Abbey Fields car park and the rest of Abbey Fields.
These trees provide welcome shade in the summer. However, they are growing organisms and from time to time need the attention of the Warwickshire Forestry Section Arboriculturists.
Removal of dead wood, suckers and feathers from lime trees
21 to 25 May 2018
It is about four years since the trees have been worked on and they have grown quite significantly. This time there were two main tasks to be carried out:
Firstly – the removal of dead wood from the trees. The clearance of the dead wood is carried out for public safety. This work involved the use of a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) to access dead branches up to a height of about fifty feet and then climbing higher to access dead wood that could not be accessed by the MEWP. The trees are so tall that the MEWP is unable to take the men right to the top so it is sometimes necessary for them to be lifted to the MEWP maximum height and then climb up as far as necessary to reach potentially dangerous branches that have to be removed. The men who were involved are trained climbers and are qualified in Climbing and Aerial Rescue, Use of Chainsaw from Rope and Harness and Aerial Tree Rigging (raising and lowering heavy items/tree branches etc.)
Secondly – the removal of epicormic growth. Such growth is the suckers found at the base of the tree and/or the feathers which grow up the trunk to the lower branches i.e. the fuzzy untidy bits on the tree trunk. This is carried out largely for aesthetic reasons, but also to ensure that the path is kept clear and so that new branches are not produced in the lower parts of the tree.
The team from the Warwickshire Forestry Section began work on Monday 21 May by setting up their safety perimeter, setting up their equipment and donning their safety helmets and harnesses. The first task was to clear the eleven trees adjacent to the car park to minimise any disruption to persons wishing to park their cars in Abbey Fields car park.
During the next days the twelve trees closest to St Nicholas Church were cleared and then they worked down the other side, i.e. towards Bridge Street. By the end of the week the whole avenue had been ‘pruned’ including the trees at the entrance to the car park with a minimum of disturbance or obstruction to members of the public.
After the work was completed
David Emsley FOAF
Photographs by David Emsley