Friday, August 18, 2017

A Tree's Demise

Tuesday was a sad day. We had a tree trimmer come out and trim some trees that badly needed to be pruned and we had one tree that was dead and needed to  be cut down:

I'm fairly certain this was the first tree ever planted here and it broke my heart to see it cut down. And yes, tears were shed. This tree probably got the most water of any tree on the place because it was in the middle of the yard and received water from all sides when I watered. It's a Chinese Elm tree and although folks on town fuss about them due to allergies and disease, they make good ranch trees and out here in the desert, trees are few and far between and treasured. I've often thanked the folks who planted these trees. We've been here for 13 years and I loved this tree the minute we drove up here. It was not in the best of health when we moved here, and we've had 4 years of extreme drought during that time, but we babied it anyhow. The guys thought it had been hit by lightening at one time. Still, I hate that it died on our watch. I know too that it has seen many family gatherings and children have played beneath it's branches for decades. The birds were especially fond of it and I am a little surprised at how attached I became to a tree. 

There were three guys that came out at 10 and they took out the last load at 5:

Just as another rain shower came rolling in, carrying big, fat drops that soaked us all in  less than 10 seconds and left another 0.5" in the rain gauge:.

One man was the designated tree scaler:

He is 58

and climbed those trees like a monkey:

His brother owns the company and he said that's what everyone calls him, the monkey.

I was fascinated at how agile he was.

And, not being a fan of heights, I held my breath on more than one occasion

As the sawdust flew

He told DH that he ate a lot of rattlesnake and that's what kept him in shape. I laughed, but he was serious and they asked DH to call them if he caught any rattlesnakes and they'd come get them.

Ummm...ok. And rest assured, this will take place. Harvey was determined to help when they trimmed the bunkhouse trees:

We had to get these trees tended to and the one tree really needed to come down. It's branches had grown through the electrical lines and over the roof of the house and it was just a matter of time before the winds broke them off and caused some damage. Every time we had a storm, I was out the next day, hauling off some pretty big limbs. 

I had the words from this poem, by Joyce Kilmer, going through my head as I took pictures


I think that I shall never see,
A poem lovely as a tree;

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest,
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear,
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain,
Who intimately lives with rain;

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

And now I am collecting and sorting through ideas for what to do with this stump. If I had any artistic ability at all, I would carve it into an eagle or something, but alas, my chainsaw and chisel skills are nonexistent. It is 31" in diameter with a 99" circumference. I asked them to leave it as this height (40") with thought of making it a bird bath, planter or a wishing well. It sure did leave a lot of empty, blue sky:


I think I can fix it up, but truth be told, I'll be a tad sad every time I look at it:


Anonymous said...

Oh I would weep at losing such a beautiful tree too!

Shelly said...

My grandmother had Chinese elms in her front yard. She loved them, but always complained about the little tiny twigs they would sprinkle all over the yard. I love how Harvey has a stick in his mouth like he's really helping. What a sweetie! And that climber -- a brave soul -- monkey indeed! When we had a tree cut down here, I had them leave it high, too, thinking I'd make a yard table out of it, but it's location made that a bad idea, so I eventually had them cut it all out. I'm not much of a landscaper -- I leave it all to the goats to take care of!

Anonymous said...

Yes you can cry over a tree. It saddens me when ever a tree has to come down. And only when it is down do you realize how much cooler your house was because of it. It also saddens the birds. W e had a maple tree that had to be over 100 years old. What shade, what glorious golden leaves in the fall. It would cast a gold color everywhere. I loved that tree. But when it becomes unsafe, it has to go. My son always says a prayers over the tree as he removes one. Thanking nature for providing beauty, shade, protection and In its death, wood for many purposes. I do the same when I cut flowers to bring in. It is wise to be ever grateful for the bounty of this earth. Dotti

Shepherdess55 said...

While there are acres of woods nearby, we have only a handful in our farmyard. Each time they are damaged by storms or wind I mourn the loss of shade and nesting sites the branches would have provided. I look forward to seeing what you do with the stump.

Sherrill said...

I always cringe a little when I see a dead tree. And I hate to go by an area being readied for building, especially when they come in and just knock all the trees down. That's criminal IMHO!! I LOVE that last photo of the sunset over the trunk..beautiful!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

I have a dogwood which we planted when we moved into our house, I cannot image looking out the window and not seeing it--your tree was a part of your home. Hanging onto a limb with one hand and using a chain saw with the other--that is scary! Pinterest has some lovely ideas for using tree stumps.

Tired Teacher said...

Chinese elms are quick growing but do not usually live long. Their branches are brittle and usually come down in wind storms.

It is sad when trees come down: they leave a hole in the sky for a long time.

Nancy said...

My tears will blend with yours, Karen, when we have to have an ash tree removed from the front of our house one of these months, years.... Not too soon, I hope, but I believe it's beyond saving from emerald ash borer (that wretched pest). The tree gives shade through the hot summer months and it's autumn color is beautiful and enhances our brick home. I cry when I think of losing it. When we first discovered the borer we began treating it but to no avail. I'm sorry for your tree. It's feels like losing a good friend to me.

---"Love" said...

I know how you feel. My heart was broken when the guy who bought my father's place had a huge paper-shell pecan tree dozed down. Daddy had planted the tree i 1925! It was removed so an auto parts place could be built there. I think some call that progress maybe; I don't! I love that poem; our class was required to memorize it in fifth grade. ---"Love"

Jen said...

Wow! I have huge trees in my yard, too. When I had a tree guy cut the limbs over my roof, I lost my shade for my deck. Then he told me I have 8 Ash trees that the emerald ash borer will kill. Ugh. I need to figure out a solution so I can't see my neighbors.

Janet O. said...

Oh, it is hard to lose a good size tree. It has become a part of your life, and then suddenly there is a bare spot where life had been.
We had a maple at the corner of our raspberry patch just die suddenly this summer. My son planted it as a cub scout project many years ago, and it was finally a respectable shade tree. In the Spring it was full of buds, but they never opened. It just dried up.
Can't believe the monkey man. He is almost my age--he has no business doing that! LOL
Love Harvey's efforts to help. :)
The photo at the end with the stump in the sunset is a beauty!

Chantal said...

I can so feel your pain. I cried too when we had to bring down the front yard spruce. It was always so beautiful in the winter time. But the family is growing and we needed a bigger drive way to park more cars. I didn't blog about that one but I did when the row of spruce had to be cut down. You can see it here:
They sell some things you can screw to a stump to make it look like a gnome's house or a fairy's house. Look it up on Pinterest if you have an account. Good luck with the decision. ;^)

Dar said...

I too feel your pain. We were fortunate to buy our property that was well endowed with many trees, of many different types (although most were low maintenance and less expensive for the previous owner). Having said that they were beautiful and we had lots of birds and wildlife because of the landscape arrangement. But my DH is a city boy and he did not value them as I did and alas, we have had to take down too many to count. They keep dying now because of the cost to water our property. We let Mother Nature take care of most of them. Well, now we are paying the price of expensive removal. I am heartbroken and sick every time I see one come down because of neglect. I hope our younger generation sees value in planting and maintaining trees and shrubs. They make a difference to our health and beauty of life. Your pictures are priceless. You definitely have an eye for photography.

Lindah said...

I can surely empathize with you, remembering a huge old maple and the critters it housed ---when our little critters weren't swinging away too high from its high branch. Lots of memories. And the autumn color! That big stump is a special gift; you will enjoy that and the memories.

So, are you going to plant a new tree? Or maybe a flower garden to soak up all that extra sunshine? I suppose it will take awhile for the roots to decompose, or else a lot of hard rip work, but a nice big colorful planter on the stump might be nice.

Wow! You folks are getting a lot of rain. I take it that this is rather unusual. We are having unusual heat out here. Unusual weather in a lot of places this year. A reminder perhaps that we not get too set in our ways and forget to keep our eyes focused on the Creator of it all.


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