One of the straighter, sun striving robinias came down in the heavy winds last month. Having had to simply trim it and lay to one side while I finished clearing the woodland area of the garden, I recently got to putting it to use.
I think it was actually more of a dual effort in terms of its demise; the combined forces of strong winds and nature’s craftiest killer, honey fungus. Noticed a clump of the toadstools present on a nearby stump and the unmistakable smell of mushrooms emitting from the tree base itself. I have mixed feelings about honey fungus, but contrary perhaps to many gardeners, most of them are positive. It’s true that once established, the fungus can be a nightmare, particularly in heavy shrub borders or smaller gardens in general. However the ‘disease’ acts out one of the most essential elements in life; death. Or to be more specific, decay. Without it the world would be a very, very different place. It wouldn’t really be here to be more accurate. So, clearly not going any deeper into the biology, trees need to come down in order to support new trees. All green needs to rot, to a certain extent, if new green is to come. Ultimately we ourselves need to rot, but I think the sentiment is best left there.
Honey fungus is certainly one of the most proficient progressors of this natural cycle, though it can be a tragedy in the shrubbery. I really struggle with the concept of attempting to chemically prevent the continuation of such an important natural process however, and in my book, the best thing to do is simply to isolate the problem as best as possible, and burn the remnants. Any uninfected by-product of the felling is for putting to a good use.
I decided to make a bench to go by the pond. It’s very rough cut, and all hacked to shape with the harsh blunt force of a hatchet, mallet and chisel, and below is the process in pictures.