The mighty oak (Quercus rubor), the one in the centre of our garden is due for a haircut, we decided. Visitors comment on our lovely garden – but such a shame about the oak tree – all that shade. If they lived here, they would chop it down, except that it is subject to a tree preservation order.
If the tree was chopped, there would be an open space. The summer sun would beat relentlessly down, and an umbrella would be needed. I would miss the sturdy black limbs etched against a grey winter sky with the playful skitter of squirrels among the branches. I would miss the birds, there are two magpies in the branches as I write, and hundreds of others birds visit to feed on the myriad of insects living in the nooks and crannies of the bark. Blue tits nest in the attached birdbox and tree creepers and the nuthatch hang, head down, to feed.