|Photo from summer 2009|
They were mature and shade providing, but old. Our homeowners insurance company immediately demanded that the two closest to the house and outbuildings be trimmed back, or else.
We had several estimates done for trimming them. We thought they were beautiful and only wanted the necessary minimum done. The services that came out all said the same thing, that the one next to the house wouldn't last much longer and needed to come down.
We hoped we could revitalize it with the end of the drought and tree fertilizer, but last summer it was obvious that most of the outer limbs were dead. Once again arborists warned the tree was dying. We had the dead limbs taken down for firewood.
|Photo taken after the trim, August 2012|
This summer there was more evidence that the tree was dying.
It put out very few leaves this year, and by earlier this month they, too, had died.
|Dead, brown, leaves but the other 2 oaks are still green.|
The sad truth was that it was time for it to come down.
|Cutting the wedge|
I do believe a "don't try this at home" disclaimer is appropriate here. Dan is not one to jump on any bandwagon, but I suppose the skills of establishing drop zones in the middle of nowhere, years ago, never abandon one entirely.
|Tying it off to hopefully prevent it from falling the wrong way!|
Trees are extremely unpredictable when they fall. Ropes and chains help assure they don't go the wrong way!
|Wedges were driven into the cut opposite the wedge cut.|
It fell where he aimed, although it did hit its neighbor oak. The limbs were weak and brittle, snapping like twigs. Any of these could have dropped at any time, so it was good that we got the tree down when we did.
The diameter of the trunk was 39 inches. I tried to count the rings. Some were large and easy to count; there was about 40 of those. The outermost rings were very tight and difficult to distinguish There are about 40 or 50 of those. Because of the way the tree was cut, I wasn't able to count rings all the way to the center.
It leaves a huge gap in the sky overhead! I will certainly miss the shade during summer and the woodpeckers will miss boring for insects. Happily, my replacement tree, a sassafras I transplanted a few years ago, escaped damage!
|I fond this sassafras sapling elsewhere on the property and|
transplanted it several years ago. I've pampered it along.
|Next year's firewood waiting to be cut, split, and stacked.|
I love trees so it is sad to see such a tree reach its end of life. I must remind myself that even in death, things have purpose. This tree, for example, will provide heating and cooking wood for winter 2014. By taking it down now and not letting it rot away to nothing, we not only protect our house and ourselves from damage, but utilize the wood before it was useless.
The key to stewardship and environmental responsibility is to not use up a thing, but to always make a way for it to perpetuate itself. We've planted more trees than we've taken down. It's all part of leaving the world a better place.
Good-Bye Old Oak Tree © September 2013