When I bought this house over a year ago, one of the defining features was one of the 200 year old maple trees that ran along the road. While the main trunk was cut off several feet above the first set of branches, it still manages to drop leaves to a depth of 2’ in some places.
Whilst out shoveling the driveway the other day, I heard the tree popping and snapping every few minutes. I figured I should get an arborist or some sort of tree person over to take a look. Sure enough, the prognosis wasn’t good. “There’s a reason you don’t see many trees this old and this size, and this tree is starting to show that reason.”
It’ll be a shame to see this tree go. It protects the front of my house from stray vehicles, appears to keep watch over our vehicles, and has seen more take place on this property than just about anything else.
The picture above is a litho/sketch from ~1850. The tree in question is just to the right of the driveway. One last picture:
As you can see, the main trunk is gone and several branches have already been cut back. The cut branches you can see have fungus of all sorts growing on them, including on the main trunk above the main crotch. Time will tell how far the trunk has rotted down to. At one point I had a picture with my wife standing in front of the tree and her head is under the base of the branches. The trunk is easily 6’ in diameter at the ground and narrows to maybe 4 1/2’ thick at the narrowest point before the crotch. I’m a tall guy (6’8”) and if I were to hug it, my arms wouldn’t even go 1/2 way around it.
Next step—Since the tree is so close to the road, it should be of concern to the town, county, and power co., either because of potential damage to lines and vehicles or because its in the right-of-way. If that happens, the cutting down will be free and I’ve been told that they’d be happy to leave me 10’ logs. My neighbor owns a bandsaw mill, but I have doubts as to if it can handle the trunk. I’m sure I can arrange a sweet deal with him. I really have no idea how much wood I should expect from this.
Anyone up for ordering 24”x10’ slabs at 8/4? :D
-- Dan, Rochester, NY