Tending to Listed Oak Trees that go bump in the Night

The forces of nature can prove irresistible at times. Such was the case, when Lorna Graves and her husband were woken one stormy night by an ominous crashing noise emanating from their extensive garden.


It was only when daylight arrived that the full extent of the damage became evident. Within the grounds of their 16th century manor house home in Kent, a large branch on a listed, centuries old oak tree had come crashing down in the high winds, slicing off a lower branch. If that weren’t bad enough, the falling timbers had completely destroyed an ornamental temple which, for decades, had taken pride of place in sight of the garden pond.

Such was the weight of the branches that they had become embedded in the ground. It was a chaotic scene. At this point, Lorna called Original Tree Surgeons for their assistance.

“It was not a pretty sight,” said Lorna. “Sadly, the temple was smashed to pieces and there was tree debris everywhere. Until then, I’d had no dealings with OTS. But I found their website and asked if they could help out in our hour of need. They were round in no time at all, removing a large oak crown and making repairs to the tree itself to make it safe and which has happily survived to this day.”

That incident took place two years ago and, some time later, strong winds damaged another veteran oak in the garden, which OTS tended to, successfully carrying out a further structural prune. Since then, Bob Noakes and his team of tree surgeons at OTS have been regular visitors to Mr and Mrs Graves’ property, which stands in two and half acres of ground, midway between Hawkhurst and Tenterden. The tree work has primarily involved providing on-going care and maintenance on a number of very large mature specimens which surround the manor house.

“We have around a dozen listed oak and fir trees, as well many other willows which need regular attention and, I must say, Bob and the OTS team have been excellent throughout. From the outset, they have always been very efficient and friendly.

“When the tree came down, we hadn’t lived in the property for that long, but we quickly came to appreciate that given the number, extent and size of trees on our land, having a knowledgeable tree surgeon at close hand was essential.

“I always feel that when Bob tells you something, it is best to take it as fact. They don’t make up reasons for doing work unnecessarily and I really feel that we get value for money and that our trees are in safe hands. I would have no hesitation in recommending Bob and OTS to anyone who needs help with their trees,” said Lorna.

Happily, the temple has been rebuilt to reclaim its rightful position in the garden and includes some of the stonework from the original pillars that Lorna and her husband were able to salvage.

Meanwhile, with one eye on the weather of course, OTS are due back to the property in the New Year when the leaves have fallen, to undertake a new round of trimming up and pruning.