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Archive for the ‘Tree Love’ Category

Tree disaster averted

We were still away on our Christmas holiday when we received an email from a neighbour, telling us a large branch on a pine tree had broken and was dangling above and next to our house. They knew we were away, and were worried that in a big wind it might damage our house. This was not an empty concern. Big winds are what Wellington is known for. We asked for a photo, and checked the weather forecast. Then we decided we could delay another day, and travel home as planned.

When we got home, this is what we saw. A branch at least 3-4 metres long, with numerous side branches covered in pines, was broken and dangling dangerously close to our bedroom roof and wall.

A large branch that could easily be caught in a big wind and damage the house. The pine tree has a very thick trunk, and we expect that it has been here since the time of the original house on the section, well before ours was built in the 1970s. When I first moved in, I didn’t really like the pine trees. But I’ve grown fond of them, looking up into their sculptural branches laden with pine cones. Though these same branches do occasionally give us a fright if small sections (1-2 metres long) break off in the wind. The tui and other birds play in the branches, and we sit and look at them when we have evening drinks on the deck.

So we called the tree surgeons. They said they’d call back in 24 hours. But this was the time between Christmas and New Year, and they didn’t. (We saw a truck with their name on it at work in another suburb, chopping down a lovely stand of poplars that I have always enjoyed, and even wanted to feature one day on a Thursday Treelove post. Sigh for several reasons!) Then New Year intervened, and still now word. Seven days later, another neighbour – who knew the story having chatted with my husband – contacted us and offered to cut the branch down for us if we continued to get no response from the tree companies. We gratefully accepted his offer, especially given the forecast of a storm in a few days. He has worked in trees and even in a cathedral taking down an organ after an earthquake, so knew exactly what he was doing, and had the necessary safety gear. He clambered about the tree like the young thing he is! It took a whole morning, and my husband – who was anchoring things on the ground – was injured, only mildly fortunately, unexpectedly pulled forward into a wooden fence by the shock of the weight of only half the branch.

Our neighbour refused to accept payment – but he will get it in the form of a large Bunnings voucher (he is a builder by trade) in due course. And we happily sat on our deck earlier this week looking once again at the tree and the birds in it.

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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Last week I forgot the thing that made me happiest recently, and was actually the original inspiration for last weeks “happy things” post.

I hadn’t been into the city for a week or two or three, except for going on the bus (which takes a different route) to meet a friend for lunch. On Sunday (a week ago) we drove along the waterfront – almost all the quays (there are a lot of “quays” in Wellington) – and pretty much all the pohutukawa were in flower. The trees along the waterfront by the stadium and the route where cruise passengers would walk (and would have been walking this summer but for COVID) are getting bigger, and so there are even more beautiful red blooms. A few days later when I was in the city I started counting some of the trees along the sides and middle of the streets, and there are hundreds. I stopped to take a photo … or two. They really doesn’t convey the continuous delights of these red blooms as we drive along the quays and around the bays, where the newer council planted trees turned into the older, huge trees in Oriental Parade that were also in flower. Further around the bays were the trees where I took the photo some years ago that form my current and very seasonal header image.

I know I wax on (ad nauseum?) about the pohutukawa and their red blooms every year at this time. This is not even my first post about them this year! But they do delight me. They herald the season, promise a joyful, relaxed summer and summer holiday, and provide a nice introduction to a new year full of hope. This year, perhaps more than any other year, hope and joy is both necessary, and appreciated.

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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Nikau palms

On our sculpture walk in Northland, there was a small grove of nikau palms, dwarfed by many of the other surrounding trees. The nikau is New Zealand’s only native palm, and is very slow growing, taking around 200 years to reach 10 metres tall. So the trees in the grove were young, but young is relative, as they were still probably older than me! Nikau palms have a tall slim trunk, and fronds that reach for the sky. You can read more about them here.

The designers of the Wellington city library liked the sculptural nature of the nikau, and used sculptures of it as supports at its entrance and around the outside. You can see a photo here. Sadly, following two earthquakes, the building was closed, and there was considerable debate as to whether it should be replaced or strengthened. The one thing most people agreed on, though, was to retain the nikau palms.

Young examples of nikau palms

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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