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Parthenocissus spp on a dead tree?

josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
This morning the volunteer gardeners met to work in the park as usual (bank holidays don't stop us!)  and over our mid-morning tea we discussed what to do with a large alder tree which has died.  Options so far are:

1.  Tell the council and they will probably cut it down on safety grounds, genuine or spurious.

2.  Do nothing.  The bark is covered with green lichen, so it's not unattractive even though it's bare of leaves.

3.  Make a feature of it:
     3a   Get a sculptor in to carve something decorative.  We did this with a previous tree which was cut down on safety grounds, needless to say the council which owns the park wouldn't fund it, and it cost us £500.

     3b.  Plant a climber beside it.  Virginia creeper or Boston ivy were suggested, as they are self-clinging and we wouldn't need to construct any support.  Or would we?  I've only ever seen these grown on walls, not trees.  Would they climb a tree with no additional support?

Whatever we do must be wildlife friendly and not upset the health and safety police.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Maybe consider who would be liable if it or part of it falls on someone?
    The fact that websites like these exist might be of some worry.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,070
    iI think the main concern of the H&S brigade would be that the dead tree is actually sound enough not to come down (or lose branches) in a high wind, bearing in mind that a climber will eventually add extra weight, and quite a bit of extra wind resistance compared to just the leafless tree. If you have a friendly local tree surgeon, they might be able to assess it for you.
    Carving the trunk into something would be better in that respect because presumably it would just be the trunk, not the branches as well.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    Thank you, those are all points we should bear in mind.

    I'm thinking perhaps, have most of the crown removed, leaving a few stubby branches.  Better get the municipal tree surgeon in for a consultation.
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