By davidc


We had a rather rude awakening this morning. Well, not really an awakening, but the doorbell rang about 8am as I was sitting in bed with a cup of tea and my laptop, looking at blips as is my wont.

It was our new(ish) next-door neighbour, to tell us that a large branch had just fallen off the ash tree at the front of our garden, overhanging the road - and it had dented his car. This surprised us as our local tree surgeons had done a fair bit of work on the tree just 2 months ago - although as we live in a conservation area, and in addition the tree has a preservation order on it, the Council is very reluctant for any significant pruning to be done (and we always need to get permission, which isn't easy).

Naturally we were upset that it had dented the neighbour's car, but it could have been an awful lot worse if it had fallen on someone, especially a child: 5 minutes later children would be walking along the path under it on the way to school.

I've highlighted the source of the broken branch on the inset photo (looking about 20 feet up into the tree), and the dent on the car bonnet.

I phoned the tree surgeon who luckily lives nearby and he came round straight away. He was also surprised, but it was clear that the branch which had broken off was dead. I guess that as the tree was not in leaf 2 months ago, dead branches would have been difficult to identify. Anyway, he's going to send his team tomorrow to go over the tree very carefully, removing any dead branches and doing emergency pruning to anything which looks dangerous - apparently this is legal without prior permission from the Council, although he'll photograph anything he removes to prove the need to do so, lest he be hauled in front of the Council in future!

As the branch was clearly derelict, I'll tag this for this week's Derelict Sunday challenge (they don't have to be done on a Sunday). When 60plus kindly gave me a heart for my Derelict Sunday blip from last Sunday, she encouraged me to look for another derelict blip during this week  - but she hoped that it wouldn't be another expensive one. It looks like that hope was in vain. (We have quite a big excess on our house insurance policy, so I'll probably end up paying for the car repair as well as the further tree work. Even less inheritance for the kids!)

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