Becky posted some photos yesterday of this big ass okay tree that fell over in her yard. Scary! Isn't it crazy how things, like a tree falling, that would have just surprised you before having a kid give you the willies after becoming a parent? I mean, as soon as I saw that tree down across her driveway I though, "Oh my god! Hank was playing just at the neighbors!" And Becky had wrote that she basically had the same thought.
Anyways, enough of paraphrasing Becky's post. I'm mentioning it because it reminded me that we actually had a significant tree downed in our yard a couple of months ago.
We have a very large, very old tulip poplar in our backyard. It's around three and a half stories tall - significantly taller than our home - and it's rooted about maybe 10 feet from our back porch. Now, if you know anything about trees, you know that tulip poplars are fairly fragile. Anytime we have a storm of any strength we lose large limbs. The tree snapping off a 5-10 foot limb after a short storm is nothing. What is so scary is that the tree is very close to our home.
This tree had a significant dead limb on it that we had planned to remove. This spring, in fact. The limb wasn't particularly close to the house, but it was really large - like 10 feet or so - so we didn't want to wait for it to break naturally.
In April, we had a large thunderstorm, as we often do during the spring time in the mid-Atlantic. The winds were very strong, strong enough to rattle our windows, with lots of thunder and lightning. It was fast and furious and then over.
The next morning, I went let the dogs out and look what I saw (click on the photos to see larger images)!
That's a big fucking limb! (Also, lovely golden euonymus growing up the tree that has since been pruned.) Here's a shot of the length:
It's hard to see it from the photos, but the limb itself was about 20-25 feet long, maybe a third of the tree. The tree to the left if is the tree it came from. Do you see how close it is to the chain link fence? Yeah, it is on top of it. That's a standard 4 foot fence. Here's two more shots of it, with Oscar standing beside it for scale (please ignore the overgrown grass. It's all dead now anyways):
OMFG, right? This is basically the top of the tree. It snapped off and just fell to east of the tree. Had it fallen south it would have fallen directly into the boys room. Where they were sleeping. Gives me chills just thinking about it.
Here's a shot that shows where it snapped off the top of the tree:
The top that snapped off? Not even dead. Totally alive. The dead limb? Still attached to the tree.
In this photo, you can see it was about, oh, three feet away from taking out our gas grill:
I took all these photos thinking that we must have sustained some kind of damage. To the fence, at least. But no, nothing, nada, zero, zip, zilch. No damage whatsoever. My father-in-law came up and helped Nelson cut apart the tree and hauled it away for us. There's still a piece of the part that fell lodged into the ground. It's a limb that's maybe 10 or 12 inches in diameter and Nelson still needs to dig it out.
So that's my tree story. Oh, and we still haven't had that dead limb removed, though now that I'm thinking about it I really should call the tree surgeon again. I don't know if we'd be so lucky a second time.