Friday, August 01, 2008

Green troubles now

The paving around the north side of the church is almost complete, and people are able to sit and drink outside the 'Owain Glyndwr' no longer enclosed in a corridor of Heras fencing. Close to the post box, now back in service again, over by the north churchyard wall, there's a large circle of tarmac, rather than pristine paving. It's a sign that something else is going to happen on that spot. But what, I wondered. So I checked with the project engineer who knows everything.

The tarmac is temporary cover for an area that will be excavated to take a tree, a large tree, an English Plane tree, like the ones outside the library that grow as tall as the building and shed tons of leaves in the autumn. The centre of the hole is about fifteen feet from the churchyard wall. A plane tree can grow roots as wide as it is tall, so it won't be many years before the roots are causing damage to the church boundary, and who knows what else, as the north aisle and Herbert Chapel are only a couple of additional feet inside the railing.

And then there's the additional cost of clearing the leaves that fall into the churchyard and on to the roof, blocking the gutters, causing floods. The Herert Chapel still needs repair from the water damage caused when its gutters were blocked by leaves from a flowering cheery tree which took us tow years to get permission to remove. It had surprised everyone by growing to twice its anticipated girth in a few years. It wasn't enclosed in a concrete container either, like the trees on the Hayes uprooted during demolition. The constraint of their physical environment kept the sizes manageable in their setting. Something like that would be prefereable for whatever kind of tree gets planted in the vicinity of the church.

Now, I'll have to find out, after the Big Weekend, whom to talk to about this business, to see if it's possible to head off a disaster in the making, possibly for my successor, given the growth rate of trees in an environment where there are no competitors, judging by the cherry tree experience.

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