It’s Hedge Trimming Time and the Hospitals Know It

By | 16 Mar 2015

blog 005As I’m writing, our mutant tree (the Osage Orange) is being cut back (pruning is too small a term).  The French term for it is ‘élagage’.

The chainsaw and professional wood chipper can be heard for kilometres around and has even attracted an old boy neighbour to come and watch the proceedings from the outside the gates.

Three of them are working on it, which is not too many.  One man shins up the tree and cuts the branches which are either lowered or dropped down to his colleagues who cut them into smaller pieces and push them through the chipper, which unloads the detritus into the back of their truck.  They had to collect one large branch that had fallen into the neighbour’s garden.  The truck is pretty full of chips and it creates a fair amount of dust.

These workers are all fully health-and-safety kitted out.

Unlike H, who had just started pruning a fig tree, a few steps up the ladder, reaching up higher, and toppled over.  Like most people would do, he put his hand out to break the fall but ended up breaking his wrist.

Off we went to hospital where we were very lucky in that he was looked after very efficiently and the break could be plated the same day.

The nurses were almost answering the questions as to how it happened before H did.   Apparently ’tis the season.  Early spring,  bit of good weather and everyone is out pruning with many falling and putting their limbs out as they hit the ground, which they tell us is the worst thing to do.

It’s not an age thing.  It’s an amateur but adventurous gardener thing.

I have since been looking up ‘how to fall’ on the internet, but you really need to practise to be sure that you’re doing it right and probably better to have someone oversee that you are doing it right.

I then looked up ‘falling lessons’ and similar search terms, which all come up with some interesting links about love, schools and financial woes, so I added the term ‘teacher’ to ‘how to fall’ and that came up with many American links for a variety of non-falling-from-a-ladder lessons in autumn.

I guess all I can do is practise forward rolls on the grass.  Even once H is mended, I think it’s going to be quite a struggle to get him to join me though.

What about you?  Any tips on falling without breaking bones or similar bodily damage?


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