Geriatric Trees

One of the things about owning a home for almost 40 years is that you get to see new trees sprout, young trees mature, and mature trees live long past their prime and thus become a hazard.  Such is the case for our Maryland house where our daughter now lives.

The situation was brought to the front of the line recently when a silver maple sprout in the deck literally rotted and fell over (it sprouted from the stump of a giant maple that had been cut down 25 years ago; the deck was built around it) .  Of course we did not know about the extent of the rot until the “falling over” part.  This incident provoked me to arrange for a crew to come and do some serious whacking.

One fortunate happenstance is that the section of railing damaged in the fall was actually just displaced, none of the components were damaged but rather knocked apart.  So all I have to do is complete the dismantling and reassemble the elements.

Perhaps the most worrisome tree was this decrepit box elder, a junk tree even when in the best of shape.  Twenty years ago this provided wonderful shade for the Japanese tea house playhouse I built for the girls, a structure that still provides function to this day when dottir has friends with small children over.  The old box elder was leaning so much I was instructing dottir to avoid the area when mowing.  With the maple falling over it was time to act, and I did.  Well, all the acting I did was pick up the phone and sign the check, but you get the idea.

Three other worrisome trees were gigantic silver maples whose branched trunks were beginning to list a fair bit.

We had two trees removed en toto and another half dozen major limbs or trunks removed from others.  The yard and house are now much safer.  Plus, I got to give dottir a new chainsaw and a lesson on how to use it.  After finishing the task of cutting up the original fallen maple, she said she now understands the attraction of chain saws.

My only “complaint” after the fact is that almost all of the maple trunks were curly, with spalting, and the tree crew hauled everything away.  Drat.