I fear I may have lost a favorite tree in my backyard. I can only imagine that the damage it's suffered is the result of a lightning strike. I went into my backyard to mow the lawn during a break in the rain that seems to be falling all the time these days, and I noticed that the storms has produced a lot of debris on the ground that needed to be raked up. That's not unusual, but the amount seemed to be unusual. As I neared the back of my yard, I noticed a huge piece of bark lying in my neighbors backyard and I expected to see the a limb had fallen, which happens from time to time. But then as I scanned his backyard again, I saw more and more evidence of something major that had happened, and then I finally looked up at my tree. This is what I saw today:
The gash in the tree has got to be nearly thirty feet long. I don't think it's going to make it, which means I'll have to have it cut down.
We'll see what the Forestry Forum says about the subject though--they'll give me a wealth of information. If it does need to come down, that puppy's going to be milled into lumber, right in my backyard, since this summer I'm going to be getting my sawmill running again. And if that's the case, there will be a lot of knotty pine furniture in my future. I can't fathom hauling an 80 year old tree off to the land fill. That would make me sick!
I've loved this tree immensely. A neighborhood hawk has perched on it's branches many times, and for the time I lived in my house without a laptop, I always enjoyed looking out at my backyard trees from my office upstairs. I'll be bummed if it's got to go.