Sheesh... take 2:Was there supposed to be eye-candy to accompany this post?If not, I'll just agree that all at once, there is no disputing that statement.We had a big old hickory tree taken down recently. The proximity of a barn and a couple of other keeper trees required a tree surgeon climb up and drop the hickory in pieces. Amazing work.Reminds me of hunting from a tree stand way up in a mature, long leaf yellow pine tree. Swaying in the breeze... The exception being I've never dismembered a tree while I was at altitude in the danged thing. =8^\
No, I didn't take a picture. I just cut one this morning. It had died, and I like to take the dead trees down -- both because we heat the house with firewood in the winter, and because it prevents a hazard when you go walking in the woods.When I cut it, its upper branches hung up in the branches of some other trees, so it didn't fall completely. I had a feeling that it would, though, if I left it for a while. So I hiked up the hill and came back inside, poured a cup of coffee, and sat down at my desk. A little while later, the whole house shook. We're a good several hundred yards away from where the tree hit.
Reminds you just how small we are in the scheme of things, don't it?Better you taking it down than the wind, though. When that happens, it doesn't always land where you'd like it. When we had the big windstorm out here last December, we had big limbs come down, but no real damage (except to the roof of our poor little car), but we saw some big trees that just flattened cars they landed on. Pretty awesome when that potential energy built up through years of growth toward the Sun becomes kinetic and falls back to Earth.
I watched a huge redwood felled in the Pacific Northwest about five years ago, when I was representing one of the lumber companies in bankruptcy. Its base was something like 5-6 feet in diameter, and it was probably 80-100 feet tall. The noise it made coming down, and the shaking of the ground, were unlike anything I'd ever experienced.It was a tree farm, where the trees had been planted 75 years ago with exactly this result in mind, but it was still hard for me to accept, coming as I do from an area where old trees are so scarce.
Way back when Walkin' Boss and I returned to Georgia and bought the hovel, we had a very large, very old, and mostly dead oak tree residing about 50 -60 yards behind the hovel.As the years went by, the pileated woodpecker's and red hawks hanging about the dead oak gave us all the excuses we needed to put off taking the tree down. Finally W-B and I were doing something around the dead oak one day when a large limb cracked and fell from the tree! A rapid, albeit condensed and more than a little unflattering reflection on life, up to that point, ensued...The next day I contracted a fellow I know with a very big Cat-pillar bulldozer and had him push that sucker over, posthaste. IIRC the trunk of that bad boy, near the base was a tad over 5'. Twas a huge tree which made it right sad to think it was, after hundreds of years?, finally on the last leg of its journey towards becoming one with the dust.I really hate to knock em down, what with the habitat they provide to the local fauna, like the raccoons and various birds who had at one time hung around the old dead oak, but I'm a bit more opposed to being squished.
I understand the sentiment. In my case, I do provide winter heat to the family with firewood -- so the choice is often between cutting a dead tree, and cutting a living one. I tend to take down dead trees first, and then dying ones -- with ant or fungus infestations -- that are in the pastures or near where we often like to walk. This one was overhanging a blackberry patch that is providing us with regular pickings, which means that one or two of us is very often right under it.
We dropped a dying oak on our property back in Jacksonville and even though I had topped it to keep the tree in our plot of land when it fell, there was still enough weight and force from the 2/3rds tree to drive one branch over 5' into the ground.But I haf'ta admit that, for me, there is nothing quite like the rush you get when you take down a burning tree.0>;~}
When the 2008 tornado went through Manhattan KS, one of the residents said the worst part was losing a 180 year old oak. It may have been one of the oldest trees in Riley County.LittleRed1
Never have cut down a burning tree, Sly. I did once help the local Volunteer Fire Department pour two trucks full of water into one, though. It wasn't that big a tree, but it was hollow and smoke was coming out of it, so they put a hose in it and just started pouring.An engine's worth of water and a tanker's worth of water went it, and no water at all ever came out. It was still smoking when they stopped, too.
LR1:That reminds me of this story, from my trip out to the Natchez Trace.
Many years ago I used to cut shake bolts in the PNW. The Forest Service would sell salvage rights to downed tiber prior to the regular logging show, so we would grab a axe , lunch and thermos and cruise the big timber looking for fallen cedar logs, many over 6' diameter, and all with small trees on them, growing in the rotten bark and sapwood. Underneath it all, the heartwood was sound. Once while walking in cathedral of huge trees, with a clear understory, I stepped into a perfectly concealed trap of a rotten stump, flush with ground and covered with forest duff. Made a nice little hole about 6' deep, just soft powdery fluff inside. Sometimes they have sharp hard spikes in them, where the pitch saturated areas did not rot-that would have been unpleasant! Those same spikes make excellent fire starters, next time you come across a rotted coniferous tree stump, dig around with a knife and find some hard wood in the punky stuff, cut it and smell the turpentine, Sometimes they have so much pitch it will sputter and drip off in burning gobs , with a match applied.
Raven, is the pitchy part what people used to sell as "fatwood" for fire starting? I've not seen it for a decade or so, but LL Bean and some serious camping places and fireplace shops sold fatwood.LittleRed1
LR1,Not to jump on the question, but yes, pine wood, 'fat' with resin is fatwood. At least that's how hillwilliams like the hun's tribe have defined the word down through the ages...
"It was a tree farm, where the trees had been planted 75 years ago with exactly this result in mind, but it was still hard for me to accept, coming as I do from an area where old trees are so scarce."That's a good illustration about how we have to work to overcome our biases and look at situations on their own account. Knowing that those forests are full of big, big trees, and that there is in fact as much forest in North America as there was in 1600.When viewed in that light, even ignoring the fact that it was a tree farm, it's far less disconcerting.In fact, we've probably got a bigger problem with having prevented natural forest clearance by fire, and now get these mega-forest fires that are fueled by decades of over-growth (See NM and CO right now).
"In fact, we've probably got a bigger problem with having prevented natural forest clearance by fire, and now get these mega-forest fires that are fueled by decades of over-growth (See NM and CO right now)."AKA kindling.As a tyke, I recall the controlled burns, I think the official term now is prescribed burn, tree farmers in the South would use to clean the brush/duff including the insect infested/damaged plant material, from the planted Longleaf yellow pine forests. In addition to diminishing the probability of wildfires/forest fires, the resulting burn cleanses and removes competing scrub, returns nutrients to the soil, stimulates sprouting for wildlife to browse, provides habitat for many native plant and animal species, etc., etc., etc. Win, win, win, win...How in the heck did the econazi/greens ever convince those in positions of forest management, allegedly folks who ought to know better, to allow the kindling to build up?
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