Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Big Tree Bites the Dust

Yesterday was kind of a sad day. A friend came over with a big bucket truck and took down our 100+ year old poplar. He brought along three or four sharp little chainsaws, and all the branches were down in about 4 hours. The main trunk still stands, surrounded by piles of small branches with big branch logs laying on top of them in a jumbled, tangled heap.

Annie and I are tree lovers. We live in the desert, and have tried to nurture every little twig that might want to grow. So we were kind of sad yesterday.

You say, 'hey, quit whining, you are the ones that ordered the hit'. That is true. We asked Paul to come out and execute our tree. And if I had to do it over again, I would. Make no mistake, as they say in 'You've Got Mail' this is business, not personal. You have to go the the 'mattresses' The reason that I would do it again is that it had to be done sometime. I have been watching the roots for several - many, actually- years and have never had a good feeling about the mushrooms that grow at the base of the tree. To me, this says 'rot' and when you have such a big and heavy tree so near your house, rot is not what you want at the base of the tree.

A lot of memories have been made in and under this tree. When Daniel was about 5 or so, I built a treehouse in it. The younger kids would sleep in it, and I think the older kids brought their special friends home to have a little privicy and probably smooch a little, far away from Dad and Mom's watchful eye. Very tricky.

You can see in the picture above, what one of the stumps did to our porch roof. It was the stump that had all the carving on it.

It just barely brushed against the porch, and WHAM, it was smashed pretty flat. I probably should include some pictures of the rot around the roots, but it is late and I am tired.

We live in a world where we mostly rule the forces that surround us. We are the kings and queens of climate, transportation, and sustanence. Our power largely derives from the abundant use of fossil fuels. In a few generations we have forgotten fear or even respect for the environment around us, and the forces that it can wield.

For instance, we think concrete is hard, even durable. I thought an open part of our back porch roof was solid and strong. This is not true. That might be strong and well adhered compared to my puny muscle, but let me tell you, not to the force of a falling tree. When Paul would drop a log from the top, it would hit on a nest of smaller branches, but it still struck the ground with great enough force that Annie and I felt the shock wave standing on the concrete patio. The porch? Broke to flinders is a heartbeat by one of the logs just clipping it. Wham.

So the tree had to come down. I'm still kind of sad to see it go, even though the miserable thing sent suckers up in our yard for years, and shaded our garden so that it's production was greatly reduced.


Annie of Blue Gables said...

Yes it has been sad. But it has been hard too, trying to even find that trunk with all the branches surrounding it.
It will take us weeks to reach it, I think.
very nice post, Friend.
I just might send my readers your way. You put it so well, and I am so tired.
love you,

Mike said...

Wow! I didn't know that the tree had to come down. WOW! It is scary having a big tree trouble. We had a 100 ft pine at our old place that scared me whenever the wind would blow. I saw (after Katrina) a house cut in two due to a falling tree. Sad to go, but necessary. How are Mr. Russell's trees holding up?

Andrew said...

So long, sucker (-producing tree).