Tree contractors, Idverde, have crown lifted many conifers (removed lower branches) and other species, as well as removing Ivy from the lower 6 feet of trunks along the Sunderton road boundary.
Regular visitors to the cemetery will have noticed a huge increase in tree work in the last year. This has followed a survey to determine the safety of many of the older and diseased trees, to prevent damage to graves, property and people in the future. Brandwood End was opened in 1899 and many of the trees were planted then or, in the case of some of the oaks, before that date. Oaks often live for several hundred years but many other species have a much shorter life expectancy and that is the case with many of our 1700 plus trees!
We have seen major crown lifting on both sides of our Wellingtonia avenue, large trees removed on the Broad Lane boundary, Poplars removed along the Sunderton Road boundary, Woodland reduced on the pool end of Sunderton road and various trees crown lifted or removed across the cemetery.
On the plus side, great care has been taken to consider wildlife with trees left untouched that are being used by Woodpeckers, ivy growth removed in some areas and left in others for nesting, standing tree stumps left to improve biodiversity and logs piled for Hedgehog use.
A tree replacement programme has been started and a number of new trees have already been planted by local pupils. The Friends hope that this can continue, provided funding can be found.
Another beautiful day in Brandwood End and it is great to see such colourful blossoms.
These trees were planted very recently as part of a Birmingham Trees for Life project with the help of pupils from St Albans R.C. Primary school.
They are already in bloom!!
The second half of our beautiful avenue of Redwoods is getting a little TLC with its lower branches being removed or trimmed. Long overdue but very welcome.
Things are often not what they seem….especially when it comes to trees. Our relatively healthy looking Poplars were hiding a potentially dangerous secret!
The ‘heartwood’, or centre of the trunks, on several trees was rotten. This is obviously something that can’t be seen by eye- but is one of the major things that the Tree Officer will have arranged to be tested. I photographed just a couple of examples…..but there were several.
I will also post some photos of the ‘kit’ and the felled trees as it was a hive of industry. It has opened up the back of the adjacent houses and must make a difference to their light?
Lets hope this great tree husbandry continues with the planting of interesting and suitable replacement trees in the not too distant future.
Those of you that are visiting the cemetery this week, or who live adjacent to the cemetery in Sunderton Road, will be aware that there is a lot of activity on that side of the cemetery. As we posted earlier, a number of large Poplar trees are being removed as they are now reaching the end of their life and the Tree Officer felt that, for safety reasons, they need to be removed. This is part of the tree husbandry work that has been happening in the Cemetery with trees being ‘crown lifted’, felled and trimmed.
It is hoped that these trees will all be replaced in the coming financial year with a number of unusual more suitable specimen trees, in line with the initial planting. Brandwood End has in excess of 1700 trees, many of which are unusual and were planted over 100 years ago. The Friends hope they can encourage an ongoing replacement programme by the City, as trees reach the end of their life. As usual the stumbling block will be finance!!
Those of you that visit the cemetery may have noticed that recently some of the driveways were hard to travel along in a vehicle, as low branches had become a hazard.
This was especially true along the avenue of Redwoods, where the trees were crowding each other out and there was reduced light. The Tree Officer has instigated a programme of removal of the lower branches (Crown lifting) throughout the cemetery and the photograph above shows what a remarkable difference can be made by more space and more light. One side of the avenue has been completed and hopefully the other side will follow soon.
NOTE- You may see a Tree Survey Officer in the Cemetery as BCC are completing their five yearly safety check of trees.
The Friends are very aware how popular our last Tree Walk leaflet was but it is several years since it was designed and time and weather have taken their toll on some of the trees featured so we have started working on a new version that will cover a larger area and feature a wider variety of trees. We have now started listing and photographing trees to be included and hope to be able to produce the leaflet early next year.
First we need to take lots of photographs, locate a good printer……and find a sponsor!
Tomorrow represents the start of research work, by the Committee of FBEC, to design and produce a new ‘Tree Walk’ leaflet for Brandwood End.
It is several years since our original tree walk, which has been extensively used- but some of the included trees have fallen foul of the wind or disease and we felt it was time to feature trees across a wider area of the cemetery.
Once we have decided on the trees to be included and the format we will then have to bid for funding to produce a leaflet, so watch this space! (Or of course you could sponsor this project!)
Every time I visit Brandwood End Cemetery, no matter the weather, I marvel at our magnificent avenue of Redwoods. Today, for the first time, I actually counted them! There are 23 on one side of the main drive and 19 on the other. I suspect that we have the most beautiful ‘avenue’ of 42 mature Redwoods in the Midlands? I know that the Friends of Kings Norton Park are slowly developing their own ‘Redwood Avenue’ but suspect none of us will be about to see them reach the size of those in the Cemetery.