Blown down ash tree...

16 January 2014, Sustainability and the environment, Would you like to leave a comment?

With all the gales we’ve had of late, it was only a matter of time before something came down nearby. I had my hopes pinned on a lovely burr elm, but I’ll settle for an ash, if it’s free!

This one is very near the coast, so access is going to be tricky. I’ll have to drive along the beach to reach it – you can just see this to the right hand side of the photo. Apparently the sand is fine to drive across at low tide, so long as I don’t stay parked for too long! Option two, is walking up and down the steep muddy bank, carrying whatever I can.

The wire in the foreground of the photo below was an attempt to control the direction of fall – with trees of this size, there’s not really much you can do…


The ash clearly had a few problems before it came down, with excessive heart rot clearly present. A healthy tree will lift its roots when blown over, which is certainly not evident here. However, this rot will often fade out towards the other end of the trunk and leave a good section of solid timber. Being nearly three foot across, there is certainly scope for getting some good sized blanks for turning and all the unusable pieces will nicely top up the firewood pile.

Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

Your comments

  1. Gravatar of Rose
    Rose22 January 2014 15:33

    Hi Jonathan,
    I just came across your website and I was blown away by your work! I also know the shop Tanner in Lawson in London so it's nice to see the link there. I hand-make moccasins in Cornwall and so appreciate your fine handy work and commitment to local materials. It's great you can go and collect a fallen tree and work with it. Wonderful.
    Look forward to seeing more of your work and maybe one day having a piece in my home ; ) the candle holders are already on my Christmas list for next year.
    Warm wishes,

  2. Gravatar of Jonathan Leech
    Jonathan Leech23 January 2014 21:41

    Hi Rose,
    Thank you so much for your comments - I guess I'm passionate about everything to do with wood turning and it's great knowing my work is appreciated. This ash is just one example of how a fallen tree can be turned into something special. There's going to be loads of hard labour involved at the start, but the end result should hopefully be worth it - not to mention the enjoyment as well!
    Best wishes,

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