We had to cut down a very large Beech tree at the front of the house last week, it was rotten in the middle and was in danger of bringing down a fairly healthy specimen next to it. We think it was planted around the time the house was built in 1820. Apparently Beech trees are only viable for this sort of period and then start to drop large limbs and eventually die off.
It is always heartbreaking to cut down an old tree (or any tree) and this one was too far gone to use for anything but firewood. A slightly smaller one came down in the gales two years ago, it was perfectly healthy so we brought in a mobile sawmill and had it cut into planks which we hope to use in the grounds. An old gent from the village rescued some of the larger lumps and turned them into salad bowls. Most of the rest was chipped and put on the beds to stop weeds – a fairly successful recycling exercise (apart from the fact that it all cost a fortune!)
We now have some large spaces where we will plant more trees. We will not see them grow to maturity, but there again those who planted our existing trees did so as an act of faith that future generations would enjoy and cherish them.
We too have faith!!