HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy January too! Happy Saturday! Really though, what is all the fuss about? There is nothing new about this. New years have been arriving annually for as long as anyone can remember. New days arrive daily. New hours arrive hourly. In fact, a new one just began within the last sixty minutes or so. Perhaps that justifies trying to be happy whenever we want to. I digress. My Six for this Saturday are irrelevant to this New Year, and actually, are not exactly happy. All six pictures involve just two trees, a valley oak, Quercus lobata and a coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia.

1. Thunderstorms are rare here. A real doozy arrived on Christmas morning though. The wind could have landed Rhody in Oz. This distinguished valley oak lost two major limbs. 

2. The worst of the damage is just above and slightly left of the center of this picture. The large limb that fell from there clobbered another large limb that was closer to the center.

3. Can you identify what this picture shows? The pair of short yellow lines near the lower center of the picture is a clue. That is the dirty tip of my left boot in the lower left corner. 

4. Tilting the camera from vertical reveals why I could not return to work after what was supposed to be a quick errand. This large coast live oak fell and totally blocked the road.

5. But wait, there’s more! This was more than we could move efficiently with the tractor. Two crews, working at both ends, took all day to clear it all. Another trunk fell to the left. 

6. The trunks had been deteriorating for decades. The moisture of the adjacent drainage ditch accelerated rot. All that evergreen foliage finally got too heavy when wet from rain. 

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate

13 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  1. Both trees are/were magnificent. The damage by the thunder storm to the first oak must have gone straight to your heart. I think condolences are in order, I do hope with careful attention it may live to see many more years. A lot of work there to clear the road in good time.

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    1. The valley oak, although only middle aged by its standards, is quite old by my standards. It is natural for such an old specimen to drop major limbs either because of wind or because of spontaneous limb failure. I am more concerned about the safety of those around the tree, and the nearby buildings. The tree may have the potential to survive for two centuries or more, but can not stay if it become too dangerous. Deterioration and death are natural. I can work with them, but not prevent them. Even the oldest of trees eventually die. I take care of younger trees, and plant a few on rare occasion. I hope that they get to live for a few centuries also.

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    1. Well, the damaged limb that is visible in the picture will need to be removed. The wound from the other broken limb needs only to be dressed. The canopy will be more disfigured than it already is. However, the tree may survive for another century or even two. There is no doubt that the tree is deteriorating, but the process can take a very long time. It will only be removed if it become too dangerous to salvage.

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  2. It’s sad when an old tree goes down in a storm but at least there’s a sense that it is meant to happen that way. Way better than the wanton destruction dealt out by humans on little more than a whim. And Happy 9:30am, GMT.

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    1. The processes are natural. I do happen to enjoy the big valley oak, and I hope that it lasts longer than I do. However, I also know that even it will eventually die, and it may not last as long as I do. The adjacent redwoods grew during the past century, from stumps of trees that were several or many centuries old. There was a time when redwoods were clear cut harvested here, because no one appreciated them for anything more than lumber. We are more protective of the resources now, but can not interfere with natural processes either.

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  3. Still, Happy New Year Tony! ( I thought of you the other day, and your Horridculture articles, after discovering Amaryllis bulbs coated in wax. It’s a new thing, apparently, but seems like Horti-torture to me.)

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    1. Gads! I saw those only a few years ago, so I suspect that it really is a new thing. I suppose it makes sense, since no one really expects to actually grow those bulbs after they bloom. I wold rather buy cut flowers than those waxed bulbs.

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    1. Oh, I can not work on it. I merely inspect the damage so that someone can make arrangements for another arborist to go up and dress the wound, which unfortunately will involve the removal of the upper damaged limb. Old cables will get replaced. I would have no problem with the tree doing what it does naturally, except that it is in a public place near where cars get parked.

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      1. In this situation, I do not even do that much. The arborist who performs the procedure will determine what must be done while interacting with the tree. It seems obvious that the most severely damaged limb and the stub of the missing limb must be removed cleanly. However, the cables may not need to be replaced if there is no tension on them.

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