The December 2007 ice storm has taken another casualty. About 14 years ago my youngest son, Alan, and I planted a Bradford Pear Tree in our front yard, hoping that when it matured it would shade our front entryway from the harsh afternoon Oklahoma sun in the summers. I have always called this "Alan's Tree" since he helped dig the hole and worked hard helping plant the tree. This has been even more meaningful in the past couple of years since my relationship with Alan has become very strained. This picture was taken right after the ice storm and shows the remains of a Youpan Holly Tree that had been growing directly in our entryway.
Alan's Tree has done very well over the years and was one of the better looking Bradford Pears in the neighborhood. Up about four feet from the base it forked out into two major branch groups. This is where the storm caused the damage. With it completely covered in ice, especially with most of it's leaves still attached, the weight caused the branch groups to lean out, causing the tree to split right in the fork. After the ice melted the tree came back together and I thought I might be able to save it by putting a large bolt through it, pulling it snugly back together. After looking it over very closely it was determined the split went almost all the way the the base. With the wind we have experienced lately it is a small wonder that the tree has not already broken over. Anyway, I spent today cutting it down, piling the brush at the curb and cutting up the tree for firewood. (Now we have two piles of brush since the city still has not made it's way to this end of town picking up the storm debris.) The wood was added to the other we have been scavenging from the neighborhood over the last couple of weeks. So far we have been able to collect over three ricks of wood that we will be able to use next winter after it has had time to season.
Foraging Lessons - Part I
5 days ago