17 May 2008


We grow a vegetable garden each year. It's nothing special, and rarely anything does well other than tomatoes. Somehow, we have mastered the art of growing tomatoes, but I've heard that that's not so hard to do, so we can't even really be excited about it.

But we are anyway.

When we first moved into our home, there was already a neat little garden right smack in the middle of the back yard. We soon learned that it never should have been placed there because it was right over the leach field (which ultimately had to be replaced - perhaps due to that evil garden). I will add, however, that the garden performed spectacularly while leaching off the leach field, but that's a whole 'nuther story.

When we had the leach field replaced, it took up every square inch of lawn behind our house. Beyond the lawn are lovely woods, but woods are not the best place for growing vegetables, which require lots of sunshine.

We cleared away a small area to the side of the lawn for our beloved veggies to grow, but we found that with all the woods around, they were still only getting about 5 hours of sun each day - at most. And the main culprit for sun-blockage was a ginormous oak tree that towered over the yard.

For several years now, my husband has tried to cut limbs off this 50-foot oak. But each time he does, the limbs higher up just seem to fill in the open spots - laughing at us as they do so. The tree has become a huge source of frustration for us as it provides no shade whatsoever for the house, the garage, or even the parts of the yard or patio that we DO want shaded. Rather, the only thing it shades is the one thing we do NOT want shaded. The garden.

Oh, and I might add that this tree dumps huge amounts of big brown leaves on our yard each fall. Not that there aren't other trees which do the same,... but you know, this one is so much BIGGER.

And lastly, we need firewood as much as we need this tree gone. It costs slightly less to have the tree taken down than it does to order nearly this much firewood. You do the math.

Have I convinced you yet that it needs to come down?


Sorry - too late.

Today we did the dirty deed and our beautiful, majestic, mighty oak tree is now lying in pieces across our back lawn. And let me just say right here and now that I am grieving this lovely tree. Not because I wanted it or even liked it, but because it was an old, very healthy tree. It had been here a long, long time and when we took it down, it was still very much alive and thriving.

As I walked among the carnage this afternoon, my husband peeled off a piece of bark and showed me how much water was underneath, just to throw salt in my wounds. Ouch.

Here is the tree just as they got started this morning -

Here, many of the lower limbs have already been taken down -

It almost seems wrong to post this photo. This one makes me so sad -

A mighty oak has fallen (and please ignore the icky grass)-

Our neighbor loaned us his trailer so we can cart away all the branches and leaves. As you can see from the picture above, we will be doing this until the end of time -

Some perspective of just how big this giant was.

I know that when and if we ever do dispose of all the smaller branches and cut the rest into much needed firewood, we and our vegetable garden will be happy and smiling. I also know that we have approximately 8 zillion more trees on our property that serve us nicely in spite of losing this one.

So why do I feel so guilty?

Copyright © 2008 - Paulla Estes


Elizabeth said...

Hey Girl. I feel for you! How sad to see that beautiful tree gone.

Why don't you use some of the wood for firewood and you could even take some of the chunks to this guy I know here in Maine that makes wooden spoons out of wood. You could give them to people for Christmas or something.

Cindy said...

I've seen some really beautiful furniture made from tree branches. And the other day I saw the neatest little fence made from very thin branches, and it looked so simple to make. They put metal posts in the ground- three to a side- and "wove" the branches between them.

KathyLikesPink said...

I empathize completely. Two trees on my elderly neighbors property were very slowly dying. An elm and an ash, I believe it. They hung way over towards our house and every winter I worried one of them would come crashing down on our house. Last fall we paid to have them taken down. It was amazing how BIG those stumps were! The wood filled our woodshed and my garden is happier, too. But it's always painful to see a tree cut down.