It’s the noise you don’t want to hear when you are underneath several unkempt and ancient oak trees.

A loud, menacing creak that blends dangerously into a large and definitive crack.

You know you only have a split second to get out the way.

Only a split second before a heavy thump as a massive chunk of tree hits the spot where you’re currently standing.


The spot on the road at Rowan Farm where we had been moments before

This is what happened during my visit to site yesterday.

Oli, Rory and I were busy talking underfloor heating and cladding (both currently under way) when the ominous oak let out it’s final warning.

We scarpered away just in time as one enormous limb came crashing down where we had been moments before.

Dead wood trying to take us down with it.


As luck would have it, our mate Oz – a tree surgeon – also happened to be on site at that moment.

He has now set about making the tree, and those surrounding it, as safe as possible.


Ozzie under the broken limb of the oak


It had been making threatening noises for a few days.

And with heavy rain came it’s eventual downfall.

We know for next time to pay more attention to the wooden shouts and creaking complaints emitted by our trees.


Collateral damage: A neighbouring tree hurt by the falling branch

Another oak next to it wasn’t as fortunate as we were.

It too lost a limb after being smacked by the other tree’s falling branch.

There’s a lot of work ahead to care for all the trees at Rowan Farm.

Decades of neglect and lack of management means many are not as healthy as they should be and some, like the oak that had it in for us, are downright dangerous.

It’s this sort of thing that I sometimes find a bit overwhelming about Rowan Farm.

There’s so much to know. So much to do. So much to keep on top of.

Thank crikey for helpful friends like Ozzie who can hold our hand along the way.

And do the dangerous work of giving an ancient oak a proper haircut.