7/15/09

The Oak Tree across the Alley

The massive Oak tree across the alley lost a branch yesterday.
See all that greenery that looks like its on top of the fence? That's part of the branch.

It's a startling sight because of the length of the branch which I estimate at 50 feet. It took out two fences, some power lines, and is resting on top of two cars.

I love this tree and have had a long relationship with it. Years ago crows (remember crows?) would gather at the very top of the branches to roost at sunset and it has housed dozens of nests. The canopy spans three lots and it dwarfs the three story houses. It has to be over 100 years old and existed before the house was built.

I admire it from my back porch daily and have photographed it over the years.
When I was in cancer treatment I had a fey relationship with the tree, making a point to pause and gaze at it before I left every morning. Being an atheist I just couldn't get behind the whole pray your way out of cancer notion so I developed a superstitious relationship with the tree.*

I called Paul Klauber who owns Round Oak Woodworking thinking he may want some of the branch. He didn't (the expense of kiln drying) but we did discuss the tree and his analysis is that the tree is 'over mature' and the weight of the healthy branch is what took it down.

The branch is about 2.5 feet in diameter while the trunk is almost four feet. I'm worried about the fate of the tree since that bottom branch was well integrated into the trunk. I don't want it to die while I'm alive because I've made it a part of my family.

Sidebar: There are many quarter sawn oak front doors in TGS (I've see them mostly in TGH) and I covet them. Quarter sawn oak is of the Arts/Crafts era and rarely used today because of the cost and waste. Clicking on the title of this post will jettison you to the best QS article on the web.

Pop Quiz: There's hundreds and hundred of Oak Trees. Which is this? See the photo below for one of the smaller leaves next to my foot which is The Clue.
The prize is a rare copy of Ways of the Woods: A Guide to the Skills and Spirit of the Woodland Experience


* Please curb your god and don't send me comments about my disinterest. Thanks.

2 comments:

northside shaun said...

I'll second the love of a century old oak. My house has i believe a shumard oak almost as old as the house that recently shed some large branches. I would like to say that is bur oak leaf but would need to see a twig to verify and hope the tree makes it.

Christian said...

hey shaun.
i agree it's a bur oak ans you're the winner. My email is on my profile page, contact me and we'll make arrangements for the book.