Felling large, dead and dangerous trees often requires the help of a crane. This week the team were busy with a very decayed Horse Chestnut tree in a garden in Thame.

The tree was completely dead and had become very unsafe and decayed. There were brackets of the fungus Polyporus squamosus growing out of the trunk of the tree from close to ground level and up to a height of around 7 meters.

A photograph of the fungus is below.

This fungus causes a fairly intensive white rot in the main stem and branches of infected trees. Ultimately it leads to the formation of large cavities which was the case in this tree. The fungus appears in the late Summer and Autumn on a range of broad-leaved trees including Sycamore, Lime and Poplars.

This tree was now so unstable and decayed that it would not have been possible to remove it safely without using a crane. One of our experienced tree surgeons, James Jeffery worked from a cherry picker to take the tree out in large sections which were lifted clear with the crane and loaded onto our lorries to be cleared from the site.

Although the sections of tree were fairly large in size, because the wood was so decayed they weighed less than half of their normal weight. The owners decided to keep the stump and lower part of the trunk as it had become useful habitat to various birds and other animals. At one point there had been foxes living in a den beneath the stump of the tree !