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Good Bye Old Friend  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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I have a thing for single trees, and none were more prominent then a White Pine I had growing on my land. Whether you came up the town road, down through my private road, or looked down the hill, there it was. For years it was in my way, but I still worked around it, even in 2008 when I built a heavy haul road close beside it. Wanting a straight-as-an-arrow road, it went right beside the tree, yet I worked around it, not always an easy feat with heavy equipment.

But time marches on, even for an 80 year old tree,

Last fall I noticed a woodpecker hole about 12 feet up the tree. Bored deep, there was only one reason it was there, the tree had insects inside it and was dying.

On this farm, nothing goes to waste. It was now useless as a commercial tree, but I could run it across my sawmill and make use of it. It was too nice of a tree not too. So the other day I put chainsaw to wood while my wife took some pictures. It was the ideal tree for this as it was right out in the open. The ground was also frozen with no snow, so I could load it on my log loader and haul it to my sawmill. In the end it was a lot more sound than I thought, so it will yield some nice lumber.

Goodbye ole friend, the skyline will not be the same without you.

Here are a few pictures...


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Woodpecker Hole
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Tree from a Distance
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Logs
 
pollinator
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I hear you; I always have mixed feelings when taking down a nice tree, even more so now that it's on my own land.

I surely do need the material, and the only nice trees I'm taking at this point are goners anyhow - mostly cedar dead from drought.

Still liked em better healthy and standing.. especially as my land probably has 1% of its merchantable trees remaining after the PO logged it.

Glad to hear you'll get some good lumber out of it at least.
 
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Hey, all you expressed just reached my heart. That tree was a great friend and you know friendship never dies. A warm goodbye from my side to your old friend.
 
Travis Johnson
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This is of another view of that tree, but looking up from a field just after we cleared forest to make the field.

9.jpg
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It was a beautiful tree standing there alone and majestic!

We had a gorgeous sunset maple that was given to us by our mortgage company when we bought our property in 1995. Soon, after we moved in, I planted it in our side yard between the house and our property line. By 2012 it was taller than our two story farmhouse. It was perfectly shaped, beautifully green in the Summer and fiery red in the Fall. It broke my heart to cut it down in the Spring of 2012 to make way for a new driveway and small warehouse for our home business, but unfortunately, it had to go.
 
Travis Johnson
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I LOVE giving trees as presents. Twenty six years ago I gave a Pin Oak to my parents for their 25th anniversary and planted it out back of their home in a really crappy spot. But it grew. Then their house burned down so they built a new one, but pushed it back from the road. Today that tree shades their back deck perfectly. If I had planted it 15 feet east, it would have had to been removed...

They just celebrated their 50th anniversary, so the tree has been growing 25 years in that spot.

 
pollinator
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You should build something special with it. Get creative, and keep at least a piece of it, as a stool, or jewelry box, or maybe something bigger, like a pie safe...
 
Travis Johnson
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That is a good idea, though I am not sure what. My wife and I were thinking about making a kitchen table out of it???

I did saw up a few logs yesterday. I am pretty sick so I have no stamina and it was really cold out making for lumber sawing a bear. The sawmill started, but EVERYTHING was froze. I had to use boiling water to allow my joysticks to work on my log loader. I had to heat the log dogs of the sawmill by holding them over the exhaust of my tractor to melt the ice. I had to use WD-40 to thawout the ice on the slides of the sawmill head itself...nothing wanted to work, but I perservered and was able to get (2) of the six logs sawn. Okay, so that is not much, but I was getting some really nice boards and this was not even the butt-cut logs.

I will try and get some picures today if it is not too cold to saw lumber. It is 12 degrees (f) as I type this.
 
Travis Johnson
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It is with shame when I look upon what I now do. :-( Just a few years ago converting this tree into boards would have been a days job, sadly this took me a week.

In any case we have a 18 inch snow storm coming on Tuesday, so I wanted to get this tree sawn into lumber before my sawmill was buried in snow. However, my instincts were right, this tree was going bad. Fortunately I cut it at just the right time. The second log (8 foot to 16 foot section of the tree) had a lot of carpenter ants in it. Sawing around the log, which a sawyer should do anyway, allowed me to only lose four boards or so. I can live with that considering the amount of lumber I got out of a dying tree as a whole.

The butt cut log exceeded the capacity of my sawmill so I had t trim some of the butt swell off with my chainsaw. I converted most of it into 1 inch pine boards, but my Mother wanted my Dad (a woodworker) to make her a new live-edge table, so in the heart of the butt log, I cut her (4) planks 20 inches wide. That will enable my dad to make a full-width kitchen table out of only two planks. I had to cut quite a bit of the log off first because I was alone and the log was too heavy to flip by myself.

I was able to take some pictures in any case. In the last picture, the small board on the left is actually 10 inches wide, to give you a sense of scale!


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Butt Cut Log
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Sawing out Top Boards
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Slowly the Boards Come Off
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Squaring up the Log
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Live Edge Plank for Kitchen Table
 
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Travis Johnson wrote:This is of another view of that tree, but looking up from a field just after we cleared forest to make the field.


Love this. It reminds me of the Shel Silverstein book, the Giving Tree. We're having to do a limited harvest as part of the purchase agreement for our property, and some days it weighs on me.
 
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Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County Zone 10b
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Travis Johnson wrote:I have a thing for single trees...



Travis, plant another single tree.

There was a Walnut tree next to my Grandfather's house. My Mom and her brothers and sisters played in it during the Great Depression. My cousins and I also played in that tree in the fifties. After my Grandparents died, the tree needed to be removed as it endangered the house. When it was cut down in 1988, I saved five of its walnuts and planted them in a pot my Dad had bought for our new house when I was a kid in 1959.

One of them sprouted...



This is that Walnut tree 30 years later.
It has gone to sleep for the Winter
and will awaken again in the Spring.

 
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