Trees at Hidcote

Damage to the Pinus radiata

Mixing inclement weather, heavy snow and high winds can create conditions leading to the damage of trees. You may have heard the whirring of chainsaws throughout towns and countryside this wintery season

At Hidcote, the Pinus radiata growing by the bridge across the stream is one such tree that has suffered at the hands of winter storms. The weight of snow combined with high winds has weakened some of the branches causing them to snap off.
 

Branches down on the Long Walk
Branches down
Branches down on the Long Walk

What's going to happen to the tree?

Adrian, our tree sugeon, has over 30 years’ experience, 20 of which have been spent working with us here at Hidcote. He is in high demand across several National Trust places and has a number of priorities he needs to juggle to help reduce any risk from damaged trees. He was due to visit Hidcote at the end of February, but with the arrival of Storm Emma, his visit has had to be postponed and the work to the Pinus radiata, and to other areas of the garden, will now take place throughout March.

At Hidcote, we will continue to monitor the health of our trees throughout the year. The work taking place on the Pinus radiata is for aesthetic and safety reasons. The site of any broken branches will be tidied up and other damage within the tree will be taken away to make the tree safe once again.

Tree surgeons scaling trees at Hidcote
Tree surgeons working
Tree surgeons scaling trees at Hidcote

The garden team will take action to save trees where they can, but sometimes the best option is for a tree to be felled.  Over the winter a poplar tree bordering the car park was considered to be a risk after a tree inspection and was felled. This turned out to be the right decision as the tree smashed into hundreds of pieces when it hit the ground, the inside of the tree being hollow and rotten.

The rotten inside of the black poplar
The inside of the black poplar
The rotten inside of the black poplar

Trees on the estate

Trees across the estate can sustain damage throughout the year. If branches fall off a tree, or if the work of a tree surgeon is needed, the logs are left and not taken away. We do this to encourage wildlife and to create habitats. Flies and beetles are particularly fond of deadwood. One third of woodland birds nest in deadwood or large hollowing trees. It’s not only insects and birds that find their home in decaying wood. Bats may also find summer and winter roosts in these areas. A variety of fungi, mosses and lichens are attracted to rotting wood providing food sources. Such examples at Hidcote can be found on the Lime Avenue.