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During a weekend this early winter, a large lateral branch of a Poplar collapsed into the neighbouring Horse Chestnut tree. The cause being decay near the base of the limb causing the limb to twist and buckle with the fibres separating but not breaking. After a climbing inspection, we found that the limb was resting quite heavily on several points within the Horse Chestnut. We also found a an active bees nest in the split. Once we assessed the tree, the limb and how best to work with the bees, it was decided to use a crane as the anchor point and as the means of lowering the dismantled limb to the ground. It was decided that the risk of either a platform or using the Poplar or Horse Chestnut as anchor and lowering points was too fragile considering the weight that was being loaded onto the Horse Chestnut. Additional hazards included a full oil tank below the limb and a fragile wall. The space available only allowed for a small crane but the lifting capacity at the reach and height needed were within the parameters needed.

The Limb was dismantled with the final section being lowered gently to rest in the same orientation that it was originally growing at. This allowed the bees to settle and leave. This section was left for several months but on return the bees were still active and so it was decided to move them again where they are quite happily living in the same log in a quiet part of our yard . We’d like to thank Caroline Morgan of Bonvilston, a local bee keeper for her advice and confidence in helping us relocate the bees.

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