My favourite tree – for how much longer?

A tall spindly damson tree which we suspect cannot stand for much longer
This tree has so much character but we fear its days are numbered

This damson tree is very special to us.

The field we train the dogs in is an ancient orchard, with many different varieties of apple and pear trees, as well as a few damsons and the odd plum too.

Who knows how long this tall, thin damson has been standing just behind our brick buildings. When we came here in 2002, it was very old and frail.

We love the wizened, gnarly features is has but when you look closely, under the bark is mostly rotton. You can't help feeling the next puff of wind will send it crashing to the floor.

Woodpeckers love it - all the bugs crawling around inside what was once healthy, growing wood, must provide many a tasty meal for them. The brick buildings (see their shadow on the right) shelter it from the worst of the weather, otherwise, it would have been down years ago, but sooner or later it must fall and that will be a sad day for me.

The old tree's of limited value when it comes to training a sheepdog - other than occasionally tethering one to it - but it's like an old friend and will be sadly missed when it finally falls.

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