Two of the last three mature elms lost on the Upper Lewes Road. OK, so Dutch Elm disease was spotted last year, but the Council’s tree surgeons simply cut off all the boughs leaving the trunk. The plan was it would attract the elm bark beetle – the wee beast that carries the fungal disease. They would lay eggs into the crevices of the bark, and the next generation would be carried off to the flames of arboricultural hygiene when the tree was subsequently felled and destroyed.
Saw the results of the second stage last week when I went out too late to watch the process, note that the stump is stripped of bark to ensure no beetle larvae remain. The trunk is rotting at the core – I remember being told that the life of this variety of elm (Wheatley elm) is only around 100 years, so maybe it only had a while left anyway.
They had to remove the big burr from the trunk, to get a better vee-notch.
Kept a look-out for the tree team and rushed out to capture the process. First they tied a rope high up on the trunk and fixed the other end to their truck. Then cut a vee-notch out of the side they planned to fell the tree. The truck took the strain as a second cut was made on the back of the trunk.
They only stopped traffic for about 2 minutes. The trunk neatly missed the pillar box, and soon it was stripped of stubby side branches and thinner top pieces ready for loading onto the truck.
Too damned cold to hang around longer. There were 13 of these fine elms when I moved here in 1983, now just the one left – luckily outside my home. Self, self, self.