The Mighty Oak Tree on High Street
The View of the Crown of the Oak Tree From My Garden
Getting Ready to Remove the Oak
About Two Thirds of the Branches Have Been Removed
An Enormous Crane Carries the Huge Branches to the Ground
The Main Trunk
Another Look at the Main Trunk
The Large Oak in My Yard
The Small Oak in My Yard
I am not ordinarily a tree hugger, especially since we moved to New England. Turn your back on a field for 10 years and you have a science experiement illustrating the finer points of forest succession. At the turn of last century, something like 20% of New Hampshire was deforested. Today approximately 80% of the state is again woodland. Trees want to grow here. That said, there are some trees that I feel are sacred. The mammoth red oak, Quercus rubra, three houses down from our house on High Street was one such tree.
I became acquainted with this fine tree when I was searching for our first house in 1989. There were three houses in the neighborhood that I looked at. The old cape at the corner of High Street and Vine Street was very sweet but seemed a little small for our needs but I couldn't help but admire the enormous oak tree on the front yard. We ended up buying a house up the street and I was fortunate enough to pass this glorious tree on my walk to work each morning.
Early one morning last spring, I was driving to go on a hike and I couldn't help but notice that an enormous branch had broken off the tree and crushed the second floor of the house. Fortunately, the owners sleep on the ground floor and no one was hurt. During the summer, the entire second floor was replaced by the insurance company. Their only caveat was that the tree had to be removed in order for the owners to remain insured.
Last week, the Arborists arrived and methodically removed the tree, branch by branch, with a pair of cranes. I had always figured the tree was ancient but the aborist determined that it was about 150 years old. The remaining stump was 64 inches in diameter. There are two red oak trees in my garden. One is about 90 years old the other is probably about 45 years old. I take comfort in believing that my trees are the progeny of that magnificent tree down the street.