Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Ici un grand arbre est tombé...

The parks and gardens team check the instrument readings being fed to the computer in the back of their van. The news wasn't good.
When we stopped over in Paris on our way home from Australia in December 2012 we went for a walk in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont as is our usual practice. At one point we encountered barricades and a temporary sign that said (in French):
A big tree has fallen here, its root system having been destroyed by a fungus (honey fungus) despite showing no outward signs of weakness.
This fungus can propogate itself from one tree to another. This is why the Council is going ahead with a thorough health check for all the trees situated around and about. While waiting for the results of these tests, the passage of pedestrians under these trees is temporarily halted and a security barrier installed.
Thank you for your understanding.
The barricades and notices didn't seem to be making a blind bit of difference, especially to joggers, who simply ducked under them and continued on their chosen route. I noticed that one American guy got told off when he emerged the other side, into the clutches of the tree surgery and gardening team. We dutifully went around and eventually came across the team working on the trees right next to the dead one.

 A cable had been attached to the tree and was being winched tighter and tighter, to measure the tree's 'bendability'.
Meanwhile, a climber prepared to go up the middle tree.
 The stump of the fallen tree, a Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastarium, or marronier in French, the right hand tree in a group of three.
The parks and gardens team take photographs of their stress metres in place -- they probably write a blog too...
 The 'bendability' metres in operation -- you can see exactly what they are supposed to be measuring by the diagram on the side.
The climber fights his way through the twigs.

In case you are wondering, there was a group of preschoolers behind us.
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Weather and Related News: There was a frost yesterday morning, but it was absolutely clear and sunny the whole day. It got up to 17°C (!!) in the orchard and I had to strip off to shirt sleeves to work. The laneway is now accessible by car and I am thinking of trying a bit of digging -- or at least weeding. My rubber boots have died, developing big splits, so I'm jolly glad my patriotism only extended to €7 worth. At least they lasted through the worst of the wet.
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Loire Valley Nature Notes: a new entry for Corncockle Agrostemma githago added.
Tongue Orchid Serapias lingua entry updated.
Green-winged Orchid Anacamptis morio entry updated.
Loose-flowered Orchid A. laxiflora entry updated.
Burnt Orchid Neotinea ustulata entry updated.
Monkey x Lady Orchid hybrid Orchis x angusticruris entry updated.

6 comments:

  1. I too was down to shirt sleeves yesterday. I'm very much looking forward to visiting Paris when I can and going to this park - a French friend had told me about it and so it was on my list of places to visit - so it's nice to see some pictures.

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  2. This laptop's not big enough to see the diagram!!
    It was lovely here too... and is now!!

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  3. Hunny fungus... Pauline just said the only way to deal with it is a "cordon sanitaire"... but by the time a tree like these falls over the black shoelaces will have reached the other trees and probably much, much further!! Shame... the parks and gardens silent killer...

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  4. LJ: do go -- and explore the 19th and 20th -- good specialist food shops (including Asian grocers), great parks, the canal, good restos, the Muséum de Musique. We love it.

    Tim: the diagram shows a bent tree and a cable.

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