Tree down! - the end of an elegant old madrone

Oh how we are glad of the rain yesterday! - and more coming.

Even the power out was great, giving us a lovely evening with the peaceful drumming of rain on the roof, and no electronic devices buzzing or humming or clicking or trying to sell us stuff.

In anticipation of this rain, I've been doing a lot of planting and I'll post about all that soon. But first…

Woke up a week past Monday to find our huge dead madrone reclining in an elegant Victorian swoon up the north valley, resting on her daughter, the nice young madrone tree growing near the house, with the propane tank just behind it.

The daughter got a bit dinged up - but fortunately, not too much. In fact, it was as if the old dame took care to do the least damage possible.

I love this old tree. The two photos below are taken from approximately the same vantage point. You can see Duncan the dog in both photos, too. Duncan is about knee-high to me, or nearly, to give you a sense of scale.

She (I can't help but think of her as a "she") sheltered a family of pygmy nuthatches every year. I'm wondering if we can somehow cut the section out that contains the nest hole and … um … put it on a pole… I know. Not likely.

The white area below surrounds the nesting hole:

Here are the nuthatches…

This is the second large dead madrone to fall over on our property this year! The other one fell across the driveway and we had Huerta tree service take down its neighbor too and chop them up for firewood.

So if you have snags - you know, push on them a bit. See how well rooted they are (or how shoogly) and maybe consider trimming their top weight.

We'll leave the main part of the tree in place, to become a nursery for other plants and animals. We may cut it up so that it rests on the ground directly.

We'll clean up the upper debris of course.

And we'll remove the part that's blocking the path!

I had to hoik myself up a bit to get over this obstruction, with all the little plants I've been putting in. Of which — more, anon.


ryan said…
RIP madrone. I've heard that trees grow faster if there is a downed trunk nearby feeding the fungi, but I've never had a way to know if it's true.