I got someone to cut down a rather too tall and significantly too
unsightly fir tree at the front of the house. During the negotiations
over a price for cutting it down and taking it away I was assured that
they weren't cowboys like some of them out there, and that there unlike
many they knew there was no point in cutting down a tree and not doing
anything about the roots. By this time I was only half paying attention
because my children were doing something dangerous with a ladder, but I
had a vague impression they'd do something specialised and difficult
(but important) with the roots.
After 45 minutes' work with a chainsaw, including a few breaks to
sharpen its teeth with a rusty metal file, the three of them had removed
everything except the stump. Then one of them cut a slot in the stump,
and another poured in what looked like engine oil, which in fact it
turned out to be. I started to get an explanation about the engine oil,
but then I could see from the arc of water jetting into the neighbours'
garden that the children were out at the back messing around with the
hose-pipe, so I couldn't give it my full attention.
So anyway, what is this idea that the roots need to have something fatal
done to them? If a 7-metre fir tree has been reduced to a stump that's
pretty much it, isn't it? It's not going anywhere after that. And what's
this business of the engine oil?
Apple Juice Ltd
Chapter Arts Centre
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