Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Today I said goodbye to an old friend.  She was probably 70-80+ years old and had passed away this summer.  "She" was a stately, tall, old hickory tree in my backyard next to the studio/gallery.  She provided shade on hot, summer days and let the sun shine in during the chilly, winter months.  

A large top branch broke off last spring and my arborist advised me of the options.  We decided to wait and see how she did this year.  Early spring, she sprouted green leaves on the trunk with the most hollow pocks, you know ~ the perfect hollows for nests and woodpeckers.  The solid side didn't have any new green leaves.  Over the course of the summer, despite more rain than the past two, the green leaves turned brown and died.  By July, it was clear that the past two years of drought had taken another victim.  

So Matt and Levi came out today and, using climbing gear and ropes and pulleys, brought her down.  First the lateral branches.  Then one large trunk.  Then the last, largest trunk with a few laterals that could not be trimmed.  She came down with a roaring crash and thump that rocked the earth.  An awesome sight to see and hear.  Matt's skills guided the fall so that it narrowly missed my zinnias and bed of peppers.  Not one broken plant!  

Old Hickory will serve one final purpose:  she will heat my house as firewood in the wood stove,  providing the cozy warmth only wood can on cold, snowy, winter days.
Old Hickory before being cut.

Skyline looks a lot different without Old Hickory.

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