I don’t know if you can tell – the smaller cedar on the right is dead. Deader than the proverbial door nail. I never saw anything that big get that dead so fast in my life.
These two trees are at least 80 years old, planted when some long-gone owners of this property originally made their home here. In that 80 years, the neighborhood has changed from acres and acres of almonds and walnuts to subdivision after subdivision, rolled out along the north side of Bidwell Park. The farmers had planted big evergreens to shade their houses. The old subdivisions with houses built on half acre or more were planted with shade trees like ash and mulberry. Even those are old now. The new subdivisions are dense and treeless.
These trees have protected our house from severe heat all these years. The yard on the south and west stays shady most of the day, so does the roof. We were shocked earlier this past Spring when we realized the one tree was dying, it started to turn brown very fast.
Of course we realized, it would cost thousands to take down, and we lost some sleep anticipating the expense. Then one day we realized, it stood right alongside the power pole. PG&E had to take it down, no other tree cutter would touch it.
So we called them and a guy came over in July, put us on the schedule. Last week the contractor called to set it up. At 8am a crew of two came with their truck and saws and started taking off the lateral branches. They don’t look like much in the photo, but I could hear each one hit the ground with a WHUMP! and I could even feel a few of them.
Now it’s noon. I started to tear up a little as I watched them take down the trunk. I had to listen to some Sandy Denny music and weep a little.
Now I can hear them grinding right through the bottom of the tree. Very professional fellows. They are not paid to remove the trash though – we will be left with the big sections of trunk and all the branches and scraps. My husband looked at renting a chipper, it’s about $300 at Rental Guy. That’s nothing compared to what we would have had to pay to take the tree down ourselves, so we’re happy about it. The kids are excited, my younger son is driving home from school in Reno to spend a day helping us clean up. My older son is beside himself with glee, all these chips for his Garden of Eatin’. I’ll be glad to spread them around the tiny trees I will plant in place of the old cedar.
Fare well, fare well, to you, lonely traveler.