The beech tree at the top of the hill changed shape significantly before we had even purchased the woodland! In the photo sequence above the tree can be seen in April, July, August, November 2015 (clockwise from top left).
We had sought advice on what measures to take upon completion via an arborist forum:
The experts identified the tree as a lapsed pollard that had been unmanaged for 100+ years. The girth of the trunk at chest height is approximately 6 metres which makes the tree veteran. The arborists recommended variously selective branch reduction, small scale tip reduction, cable bracing or monolithing.
The tree chose to maintain control of its own destiny and shed significant branches during the late August storms.
This autumn our friend Victor has removed the hanging limbs to make the tree safer. There is no public access to the wood but this part is close to the boundary with a parish turbary. Victor advises 10% reduction of surviving limbs later in the winter.
After losing such a large chunk, the tree is rather better balanced so perhaps it has a long life ahead of it?
We will keep the dead wood around the base for biodiversity, and also the standing dead wood should the tree continue to dismantle itself.