Two weekends in February, and two named storms, Ciara and Dennis. Jesus College fared very well in the storms, perhaps due to the local firm of tree surgeons and the periodic surveying and maintenance that is done on our tree stock.
Storm Ciara caused the most damage, with our ‘Ivy’ tree coming down in the strong winds by the glade in the woods. I am not sure what tree this was originally, but it has been a trunk completely covered in Ivy for as long as I have known it. It has been a haven for birds rushing into cover when you walk past, and the ivy flowers have also been a good source of nectar for late insects when most of the other sources have dried up in late autumn. Hopefully the gardeners will leave it in situ for the sake of the wildlife and the ivy will root around the tree.
The other casualty from the storm is a Balsam poplar in the corner of the Fellows’ Garden. This tree fell on Tuesday 11th February, after the main storm but when there was still gusty weather around. The gardeners said that they saw and heard the tree moving for half an hour before it finally fell. That gave them enough time to warn the people nearby in Wesley House. The tree fell with a great crack (disturbing a supervision in First Court) and it fell away from Wesley House and into the garden. The tree fell neatly through the Yew hedge creating just a small gap in the hedge.
The gardeners quickly cut up most of the tree and shredded it for use on paths; the larger pieces of trunk they left for the tree surgeons and their large chain saw.
Storm Dennis came on the next weekend and there was no more damage – apart from one of the cricket practice nets being lifted up onto an adjoining one. The trees will be surveyed again this week to check for uplifting. The gardeners have also got to do a great deal of picking up of small twigs and branches around the grounds.
We have been very lucky in Cambridge.