Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big ass tree

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.


Jan said...

OMG - maybe it's time to get rid of the tree all together?

We don't have trees I worry about falling on our house, but the nutjob people that built the house planted trees all the way around it - right up next to the house itself. I may not be worried about them falling on the house, but I don't even want to think about what those trees are doing to the foundation.

VandyJ said...

We spent Easter a few years ago cutting the dead out of our Cottonwood trees--most of them 70-80 feet high. Only one still has dead branches in it but it is easily 100+ feet high and hard to get to. Before our tree cutting adventures, we worried everytime the wind blew hard. We are a bit calmer now. Our trees resemble catcus but they won't drop branches on us.

Susanica said...

I'd be thinking tree doctor too if the tree were so close the boys' room could get hit. The weather has been so intense, I wouldn't be surprised to see hurricane or even tornado like activity this summer. Just my two cents. Especially if that dead limb is just hanging on. -M

Aliceson said...

That is one big ass tree. Thank goodness there was no damage and nobody was hurt! Those things can be dangerous!

Becky said...

Oh my God! That is the whole top of the tree! Yes, maybe that thing needs to be done. It is a shame, those tulip poplars are pretty.

And yes, it is scary to think about what could have happened. That is one big ass tree.

Frogs in my formula said...

That is one big ass tree!

Amy said...

Girl. That is scary! Amazing, though, that it did zero damage. Thank God it didn't fall the other way! It reminds me of the time after Hurricane Ivan when I called my parents, whose house was right where the storm hit. They had trees downed all around the yard, some of them missing the house by just inches. My dad said it was like they had been plucked out and gently laid on the ground or something.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit. Seeing pictures like that combined w/ the fact that I grew up on 40 acres of woods & trees shitting limbs was regular occurrence make me A-OK with the fact that we have zip zero nada trees in our yard.

And what's up with all the Chinese spam?

Mrsbear said...

Makes me think about our giant avocado tree, still very young and already stretching past the roof of our house. Yikes. Glad it fell the "right" way for you.