Sunday, April 11, 2010

Goodbye Old Friend

Several years ago we were hit by a severe drought in our area of middle Tennessee. This was the worst drought I can ever remember. It killed many trees, shrubs, and gardens. One tree in particular stood next door to my parents home where I grew up. This tree seen below draped my parents back yard standing over 80 feet tall. The loss of this tree has made me think of all the times spent under its canopy raking many leaves from its branches, hearing the wind blow through the top during spring storms, and watching animals build homes safely up high. This tree has been a big part of my childhood but has gone really unnoticed. It's part of the landscape that I assumed would always be there. So this is my dedication to this old red oak. Goodbye old friend.

We cut the tree down last week for fear of it losing branches putting the children in danger. The tree leaned toward some homes behind my parents yard so we had to use cables, ropes, and a truck to pull it the safe direction. This isn't so hard with a small tree but 3 feet in diameter and 80 feet tall put some concern not only on me (who was doing the sawing) but on the nieghbors near by and Shawn who owned the tree. Below is the video that Shawn Lance took as the tree came down. Notice at the end of the video after the tree hits the ground the wisk of wind coming past the camera. It's sort of the last breath of energy the tree could give.

We were able to cut this oak on my sawmill. It will live on as floor joists for the lofts in my timber frame shop. Not a very romantic way to honor this tree but I will remember it everytime I look up. The 24 3x6's you see below came from one log.


  1. What a awesome tree. I am glad it will have a second life and its history will continue, instead of being thrown in the fireplace.

  2. Hey Josh, Yea I was very grateful for the timber this tree produced but it did give me firewood from the scraps to last all of next year and supplied the local neighbors with firewood too.

  3. Greg, in my opinion there is no better way to honor the tree than to continue its legacy as a fine piece of furniture or in a wonderful building where it can be seen and appreciated.