"I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live."
Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, May 17

The mighty oak... isn't - Part 1

Like almost everyone else in the development where we live, my next door neighbor had a massive, old oak tree in the middle of his back yard. It was a grand tree, but obviously a different species of oak because it always grew kind of funny... more straight and columnar, not full and round and gorgeous... like ours. (Psssssst... at the risk of sounding somewhat smug, I'm going to brag a little here...it never was as pretty as ours!)

So anyway, you'll notice I used the past tense of had and was up there. Friday, while we were waiting on our appliances to be delivered, up pulls our local tree man and one of his workers, complete with all their tree removal paraphernalia - chipper, chain saws, ropes, helmets, ear protectors, etc. - to take down said tree. Take it down?? Woof! What a shocker!

I hadn't really noticed, but after it was pointed out, it was obvious that it was dying. It had heavy defoliation and dead branches throughout the entire tree, particularly at the crown. Some dead branches are normal, but clearly, this was a tree in distress. Apparently it suffered from oak wilt, a vascular fungal infection which unfortunately, kills the tree. There is no cure for it - once the tree is infected, it's a goner. The only way to maintain a healthy tree is through prevention.

No species of oak is immune, red oaks are particulary susceptible, and this fungus can, and does, spread! Oh joy! Ours is a pin oak but I don't know if it's also a red species. One of the reasons our neighbor had his taken down was because he didn't want the disease to spread to ours. We certainly appreciate his concern and thoughtfulness.

So now though, I'm getting a little nervous, you know? I mean, we're talking over 30 years of tree here. I used to look down on my little guy from my living room window when we first moved in. Now it towers over the house and provides half of the yard with wonderful, cooling shade in the summer. I can't imagine my life - or my yard - without it.

Sooooo, even though Vince (the tree man) tells us our tree looks good and healthy and doesn't appear to have any signs of the disease, we'll be having a tree doctor take a look-see so we can do whatever is necessary to make sure it stays that way.

to be continued...


At 5/18/2006 7:58 AM, Blogger debi said...

Good luck! Hopefully all is well...it would be a tragedy to have to say goodbye to such a good friend!

At 5/18/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

I certainly understand your feeling about your tree! We had a tree in our front yard that my great grandfather planted and back in the 80's (I think!) hurricane Gloria took it down. I cried!!

I hope your tree stays healthy!

take care,


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