Willow before.....

Willow before.....

I am sitting here in the study feeling a little bit guilty, something I have been feeling all week, before I had done the actual act. The act is now 90% complete and there is no going back now, unless I want my willow tree to look like it has have a complete haircut but I got bored or forgot the last branch!

Yes, you have probably guessed, this weekend was cut the willow day but my guilt is due to the fact that honey bees (and other foragers for that matter) love Willow for early season nectar – which I never knew before – I didn’t even realise that trees were a really important part of the honey bee diet! So what happened….. 
I had gotten some quotes before Christmas from local Tree Surgeons which were unbelievably extortionate for what I saw as a small job; reduce the Willow by a third (I now realise why they charge so much money!). Therefore, in my infinite wisdom I called on Bob, my next door neighbour, a legend of a man who all men strive to be. Every weekend he is outside with this chainsaw cutting up wood, alternating every so often with his gigantic axe. His down time is spent fixing his equally humongous landrover with a V58 engine or maybe just tinkering with his runabout tractor (he doesn’t own a field but just loves a tractor!). He goes to the pub for a Sunday afternoon pint at 4pm every week and is the genuine article; a “bloke”.  
He very kindly offered to help me out as he knew a bit about trees and so he would do the difficult bit; climbing it and

Willow after.....

Willow after.....

chopping it back, and I would do the easy bit; the clearing up down below. It all started well though Bob started to get “wobbles” three quarters of the way up – put me at ease a bit while doing the real job of raking up some of the branches below! 
Anyway we made good progress and got most of the job done before Bob could go on no more and it was getting dark – he did work ridiculously hard. So 90% of the tree is now cut – see the photo – and so if the bees are quick, they might get something. I put some money behind the bar for Bob by way of a thank you which he was really pleased about and now I just have to finish all the tidying up – oh my god there is so much of it! Willow gets everywhere. Not only that but if it doesn’t like the way that you are holding it, you will soon know about it. Willow has this uncanny knack of reminding you that it is a very efficient whip. You turn your face towards it and out of nowhere this little slither of willow just wacks you across the face and it stings – especially in the cold weather. It is almost like it is getting you back for something! Anyway, that happened several times, nowhere other than the bare bits of skin open to the elements. I looked like I had been in a gladiatorial battle at the end of it and Bob strolled off home with this “spikes” on and chainsaw by his side. 
I, on the other hand gently put my rake on the side of the shed, contemplated the honeybee and the fact that I had just said goodbye to their spring forage and had a cup of tea. Sorry bees

What is left behind

What is left behind

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