The Sideways Tree, Revisited

What is left of the sideways tree

Whenever we have a dry day, I try to go down to the sideways tree to help it sneak back into the woods.  This is my progress so far.  At the point you can see here, the trunk split into four branches that grew basically vertically.  I got all of them cut off and moved near the trunk in the wooded area.

I have also been digging up branches that have been buried under very tall grass. In this picture the grass has fallen over, but it is mature enough to have gone to seed.  What amazes me is that the grass I cut in December is already turning green and growing.

This is what the tree looked like in late Summer before I started helping it.

Tree growing although it has been knocked over. I really enjoy bringing order from chaos, but no good deed goes unpunished.  Our dead tree friend is covered with fungi which cause me to have an allergy attack every time I work around them.

Orange fungus on tree trunk

These orange fellows bring some color to the day, but I am hesitant to handle them.

White fungus on tree trunk.

These white “clam shells” are everywhere, so it is hard to avoid brushing against them.

Blue green fungus

The color is a little off on this picture, but this fungus has a blue-green cast.

Hand used to determind scale of tree trunk

This can give you an idea of the diameter of the trunk of the tree.  Its not huge, but it is surprisingly heavy.

 

Deer butt running away

As I was taking pictures, three deer crashed the party.  You can see one of them as she runs away.

Toby likes to come with me when I work down here.  He digs holes or eats dirt and grass.  It is little puppy heaven.

  Bored terrier lies next to his tennis ball.

Aw, can’t we go to the tree today?

If Toby is upset about no longer being able to pee on the top of the tree, he hasn’t said anything.  Perhaps I should check my slippers before putting them on just to be on the safe side….

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The Sideways Tree

Tree growing although it has been knocked over.

It’s hard to judge from the photo just how big this gentle giant is.  He is huge!

If you could peek through the trees a few feet, you would be able to watch the Keystone Pipeline being put in.  Workers pushed over the trees in this wooded area  to make a place for the pipes.  Part of me would like to blame the workers for knocking over healthy wood, but these trees were nearly all past their prime and should have been thinned  long ago.  Over the years when the pups and I have walked by, I was struck by how many trees were still upright simply because they had died leaning against a fellow tree.

One day during a bad storm, this giant of a tree was knocked over.  Even though he was down, he continued growing and put out a full display of leaves that first year.  By the second year, his spirit flagged.  As you can see in the photo, his leaves were thin, and he looked tired.

At the end of the Summer, he finally gave up and died.  He had had enough.  What is sad to me is that he has had to lie there for all of those years while the township mowed around him.  Again, my photography isn’t good, but there is an island of unreasonably tall grass as large as the outline of the tree.

Toby and I walked past the tree last week.  I brushed against a branch, and it was so brittle it easily snapped off.  Inspired, I broke off more and more.  On several more days (sans Toby) I went back to the park and broke off all the branches that would snap.  I even dug through the snow to reach the ones buried under the 30″ tall grass.

This is fun for me.  I like the work, and I like making that public area look better.  I am planning to sneak back with a saw and keep hacking the tree into pieces that I can drag into the woods.  I am wondering how long I can do this before someone decides to yell at me.  You know, because after nearly 3 years of ignoring the problem, the township is suddenly going to develop an interest in it.

I hope that the parts of the tree I have returned to the woods will decompose and become fertile ground for new life.   Season by season we can watch that stand return to its former glory.

Terrier pups waits next to his tennis ball.

I can’t believe you are getting rid of my chance to pee on the top of a giant tree!

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