While this is not strictly relevant to working as a tree surgeon in South West London, I thought it was worth sharing. A giant redwood in California that grew to the height of a 30-storey building that was ignominiously felled after a drunken bet is now about to be reborn in Cornwall thanks to scientists and propagation.

The Fieldbrook Redwood Stump is a well known in northern California. In 1890, the stump was not a stump at all, but a 4,000-year-old fully-grown Californian coast redwood. However, it is said that it was felled under the orders of William Waldorf Astor, a wealthy American living in Britain, who became embroiled in a drunken bet, about making a table able to seat 40 people from a single cross-section of a tree. It would have been the biggest tree alive today had it not been cut down! Felling is part of our tree surgery services, but we only fell trees when there’s a good reason – not because of a bet!

However, cuttings have managed to be cultivated and now 10 clones are currently growing as knee-high saplings as part of an ambitious plan to replant some of the oldest trees in America and Britain. Felling the tree without cause was a shameful act, but it’s not just a modern view of the situation, in fact when he was alive, Lord Astor vowed to sue anyone who repeated the story.

Thankfully, it seems this hundred and twenty five year old story is going to have a happy ending! Many of our London based clients appreciate that although they own the property that they live in, they are only really custodians of the trees on the property and have a great respect for the trees that they own.  Many will have been there prior to there arrival and hopefully long after they have moved on as well.

Written by

Toby Douglas is the founder of Take A Bough Tree Care. After university in Aberystwyth, Toby made the decision to study Arboriculture at Merrist Wood, in Surrey. In 2001 he successfully completed a National Certificate in Horticulture, and a National Diploma in Arboriculture, then worked for two years subcontracting to large and respected companies in order to gain the practical experience to compete successfully for both private and corporate contacts once Take a Bough Tree Care was launched

"We always arrange for Toby to come once a year to cut back overhanging tree branches and a big ivy hedge on our house. "
Sir Peter

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