Jonny Crockett offers some tips and advice on how to deal with fallen trees near watercourses

Q: During a recent storm, a large oak tree fell near a watercourse. Are there any tips on cutting up the tree and its recovery?

JONNY CROCKETT replies: The first thing is to keep safe. The ground near watercourses can often be waterlogged so your footing can be treacherous.

Sometimes when a tree falls, there will be a branch that has been buried deep in the ground. This can alter the compression and tension of the wood and make cutting tricky.

Use bio-oil for your chainsaw to prevent contamination of the watercourse.

One tip is to leave a long piece of wood as long as you can, for as long as you can. Make sure that any vehicle is not going to get bogged in, especially after you’ve loaded it up.

It may be better to cut the branches off and then winch them to firm ground. It may also be worth leaving it for a year so that it begins to season. This means it’ll be lighter.