Sunday, 11 June 2017

I like conifer trees, but ....

I like conifer trees, but when they interfere with my hobby, they have to go!

Once again, the neighbour's conifer tree overhangs my garden. Both of us agree that it's too big now and needs to be cut down. About a year ago, I offered to cut down this monster, but I have only just got around to doing this having obtained a bow saw. .

Here is a (rather poor quality) screen grab taken from Google Street View around the time of my antenna installation, three years ago:

Google Street View capture

As you can see, the antenna was equal in height to the top of the tree. I could raise the antenna so it cleared this. The problem was, I was not allowed to site the antenna anywhere else on the property due to planning restrictions laid down by the housing association. Today, the offending tree is about 30 feet tall and towers above the antenna.

I have had to keep cutting chunks out of the side of the tree over the last few years so my antenna doesn't come into contact with it when rotated. I have had bent elements twice now.

The tree grows at a rate of about three feet per year and has become well established. Had I not made a start on this today, it is likely that it would have become too heavy to tackle. As it is, a single branch is difficult to pick up by myself. The larger branches are about five inched in diameter, so it has been challenging to cut the branches at the correct angle so they fall in the right direction, i.e. away from the antenna. I had two close shaves with this but the antenna survived. Phew!  I haven't finished yet, however. In fact, I've only just started. Please wish me luck!

Starting to cut the overhanging branches

Making an indentation into the branches which catch my antenna

One of the main offending branches. My antenna is free to rotate again!

I'm about half way through now, as at June 13th, but I am beginning to realise that the branches are too big and heavy to deal with easily. Luckily, my neighbour let me borrow a branch cutting tool. This made very short work of branches up to an inch and a little more in diameter, so I have been able to cut own the ever-growing mountain of branches into something more manageable. A few trips to the skips are necessary. More photos as I progress.

Eight days later (June 19th):

My plan was to cut down the last three branches of the tree tomorrow, June 26th, but I noticed that my neighbour had beaten me to it! The tree is down! Well, considerably lowered. Now to see if it has affected my VHF reception.

Good DX!


Just a bit of mess to clear up now!

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