The big old sycamore tree in next door's garden is in a sorry state at the moment.
Of course, every Autumn it sheds its leaves...and luckily, having fairly large leaves, they tend to fall straight down - into next door's garden, not ours!
However, this year, the leaves all started to die very early, probably back in August...but not all of the leaves died at the same time...it's almost like the tree is moulting, gradually losing all its cover evenly over several weeks or a couple of months.
A popular theory locally is that the infamous drainage contractors dug through some significant roots and have thus damaged the tree.
You can see in this photo the new fence panel covering the gap in the hedge, where they dug through...also of course, where they dug through the incoming electricity supply...
The line of their digging goes within a few feet of the trunk, and a few feet below ground, so it's certain that they would have encountered the root system as they passed...and we know that their standard approach was simply to cut through anything that got in the way...
So it's a feasible theory...
The flaw, I guess, is that you would expect those parts of the tree directly fed by the damaged root system to be showing symptoms - the leaf loss would be patchy, not evenly spread, wouldn't it?
To be honest, I'm not knowledgeable enough on the intricacies of tree biology to know whether that's true or not...
In any case, the tree does seem very poorly, which is a shame as it's one of only two good sized trees directly around our house (both are in next door's garden).
I'll keep my eye on it, and keep you posted.
In other news, whilst wandering around the garden looking for photo-ops, more gulls passed overhead.
I'm curious as to what sort of gull they are, and where they are going...seeing another similar group, flying in a V, and heading in the same direction, strongly implies migration.
Yet they're all heading north-east...aren't they supposed to fly south for the winter (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least)?!
In fact, if anyone can explain tree biology as it pertains to root damage, and the migratory patterns of gulls across middle England, then please do leave a comment!