Some of you may remember seeing the photograph below on my blog not too long ago.
As of a couple of weeks ago, the 35-foot tall tree no longer stands. One of the drawbacks of a relatively monsoon month of January and the 40-50 mph winds is oversaturated soil and its inability to hold up a half-dead tree. A shame as this is the second Aspen tree lost and the three in the backyard. Last year, the first one started leaning after a few storms and I took the initiative to knock it down before it caused any damaged. This second one keeled over and was resting against a retaining wall when I arrived home one day. I finally cut down the tree this past weekend. One Aspen remains. The trees were not doing well after a few years of drought and mandated water and irrigation conservation. When we (past tense) purchased the house in late 2015, it was the backyard and trees like these Aspens that was a major draw. Even the tall steeple church birdhouse and platform that a pair of mourning doves use as a resting spot was taken down by the fallen tree. Yet from this negative, there are positives.
After cutting this Aspen trunk down to various sizes, some can re-purposed as planters for cacti and succulents. All it takes is coring out a small center section and some cuttings from existing plants in the garden. Other smaller branches can be used for decorative purposes inside the house. I even had some dark iron bird-shaped drawer pulls I had planned on adhering to the branches and then mounting on a wall. I certainly have a cast quantity of branches now!
Even as the trunk and branches were partially on the ground and on the retaining wall, the resident “pet” ringed-necked pheasant used the overhang of the branches as a home base while he was spending time on the wall. The pair of mourning doves have come back also – drawn to the constant supply of seed I put out, no doubt. But they have adapted and carry on.
So while it is a bit sad to see another Aspen come down, there is now space to maybe transplant one or several of the 10-foot tall “seedlings” that has managed to grow nearby. A few years from now, maybe a stronger tree will be in its place.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/2.5, 1/160 sec
Cameron Park (CA), Cut Aspen Trunk, Leaves, Rocks, Shallow DOF. Cameron Park, CA. Jan 30, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.