Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Giving Tree

Last weekend we had to take down a rotted crab apple tree. We were sorry to see it go as every Spring it graces our backyard with beautiful blossoms. We delayed the cutting this year so that we might enjoy one last flowering but there were only a very few white blooms, perhaps further proof that the old tree was badly ailing.

The actual process was fairly straightforward, made easier by the fact that the main trunk was severely rotted. It fell right onto the lawn, missing both the house and fence.

Regardless, cutting an old homestead sentinel is a fairly melancholy business.  It reminded me of an Anthony Bourdain episode that followed a pig from slaughter to bacon (and a whole host of other dishes). At some point the pig has been so parceled up that it no longer resembles the  original animal yet you cannot help but be astonished that only a few moments ago it was a living, breathing, oinking being. Somehow, in a slightly strange sort of way, cutting branches from this fallen tree felt very similar.

The tree may be gone but it is certainly not forgotten. We salvaged a few of the twisty pieces and turned them into outdoor side tables.

Both had rotten areas that traversed the length of the stump so they may not be long for this world but this summer they’ll be a nice place to rest a cool drink. Ben and I harvested some succulents from the living roof on the shed and filled the holes.

We’ll see how long they last: Emma promptly ripped them out so they may have a tough road ahead with a toddler on the loose.

If the stumps manage to survive the summer then I’ll bring them indoors so they might properly dry out, sand the tops, and then slap on a few coats of waterproof varnish.



PS: We also did a project with the smaller branches that is still in progress but here is a sneak peek: