Farewell to the big Rowan

We’ve not got a a huge amount of large trees here, I’ve planted over a hundred in the last decade but they take time to grow. They seem so permanent but, as they say, all things must pass.

Fallen Rowan Tree

The fallen Rowan tree lying into the field.

This Rowan (Mountain Ash) was mature when we came here, one of the features of the land we took for granted. It’s part of the shelter belt that provides some protection for the field vegetable plot.

I had noticed a hole in the trunk some years back when trying to retrieve a carrier bag. It had blown into the tree and was hung up near the top. I never did get it but after 3 years a storm dislodged it and it vanished.

There’s not much you can do with a large tree showing its age. As I suspected when I noticed the hole, the inside of the trunk was rotting and this was weakening the structure. It lasted far longer than I expected.

We’ve had some strong winds over the last week but I think it was the cold weather that finished it off. Water getting into the heartwood freezing and thawing, splitting it further apart

Split Tree Trunk

The split tree trunk – you can see the heartwood was rotting.

Not all gloom!

Looking at the tree, it’s pretty sad to see it lying there. Still, part of me keeps thinking about a load of free wood that will, when seasoned next year, be converted into potash for the soil in the woodburner whilst keeping us warm. The great circle of life.

We may have lost the big Rowan but I’ve planted about 20 Rowans around over the last few years and they’re helping the bird population with their berries. Compensation for the loss of this food source that they rely on to build reserves for the winter.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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