The Ash Tree

Day 264 of 365

Today, Ron had to fell a magnificent Ash tree in the chicken yard. He had to move the fence to get to it, which was just epic work, but he prepared and then studied and then consulted and then thought before he took it down. It was a very tall, very magnificent tree. It was tragic to lose it, but the poor tree had two giant branches at the top, and that plus some strong winds, we think, caused it to split right down the middle of the trunk. And the split was deep. It was going to come down at some point soon–and maybe on both the fence and chickens.

I could tell Ron was being really thoughtful about felling this tree. First of all, he has deep love and respect for trees as I do, but Ron also had an accident felling a tree many years ago. It was serious. It was tree to face! He still has scars all over his face and shoulders from the accident. He probably doesn’t want me to tell that story, but it seems important to share because it will help you understand my anxiety about today.

Yesterday, Ron told me he had everything ready and had a plan for taking down the Ash the next day (today). He was going to do it right after breakfast. I worried about it some, though I try not to. I realize he’s very careful when he does anything. We are both careful humans. This comes with pros and cons, of course, but it is who we are. Today, it was a pro. I knew he was well prepared.

Still, I worried a little when the friend who was going to help him this morning was sick and unable to be here. Then, when I asked Ron if I could help in any way and he said it was too dangerous for me to be out there without any experience, I started to worry a little more.

But he was out there a while before he started working on the tree, and I had grading to do, so I just went to work. I was engrossed in my essays when I heard an epic crash. The sound of a tree of that size falling is just epic. I could feel the BOOM. I jumped up with my heart in my throat. In the seconds it took me to get to the window, my mind raced back and forth between “he’s fine, I’m sure” and “but what if he’s not?”

When I got to the window, I put my hands up on it, just kind of out of this anxiety, and then I saw him, holding his chainsaw in one hand and, with his other gloved hand, holding up a big thumbs up! He knew that would have scared me, and he looked at me and smiled. And I felt so much gratefulness in that moment. I hit my hands on the window and smiled back.

When I went out to explore the tree, it was heartbreaking. I knew the tree was in bad shape with the split, but it was devastating to see it taken down. Such a beautiful tree. But Ron and our son will cut up and split that Ash, and it will keep us warm for two years Ron thinks. I am grateful to that tree for the warmth. It will be appreciated every winter day.

And I had an idea. I just looked it up and have been reading about how to regrow a tree from a stump. Surely it will sprout. I read regrowing the tree takes a lot of patience, but we definitely have to try.

2 thoughts on “The Ash Tree

  1. Always sad to lose an old tree. We have several that we are in the process of losing one way or the other. I have a very small workshop but enjoy turning pens, especially from old “friends” like the American Beech in our front yard, a pine our son planted when he was in kindergarten, and the Sycamores they took down to widen the bridge down the street. The pine and beech still stand, but since it takes so little wood to turn a pen I can memorialize them from branches before they fall.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s