Anyway, the trees in my avenue, which are beeches, rather than elms as those of you who know my address might imagine, are being pollarded. It's a noisy and seemingly brutal process: a hard-hatted team, using massive chainsaws, hydraulic platforms and a frankly terrifying giant shredder, are transforming each tree from this:
This is the third time I've seen this done in the twenty-plus years I've lived here. The first time, the Avenue was up in arms - 'they're murdering our trees' - but within a few months new shoots were appearing, and by the autumn the trees were leafy and ready to get on with what they like to do in the autumn. Within three years they were back to their lovely leafy vibrant selves. I don't suppose they enjoyed their haircuts much at the time, though.
There's a metaphor for life in there.