Wednesday, April 29, 2009

End of A Weeping Willow - Spring Storm

*Update July 11, 2009
Today another storm took out a tree and branches at the BRG (pictures).
*Update August 21, 2009
August 20, August 9 storms
April 25 2009 Storm:
On the east side of the Gardens, where Godfrey's Lane borders the park, the grassy meadow is scattered with picnic tables among the weeping willow trees. The sudden, violent windstorm that hit this area Saturday, April 25, took out one of the tall willows. I found a Before picture that I took a year and a half ago, so you can see how the tree used to look.

Weeping Willow Before
Note the position of the house on Godfrey's Lane in the background, and the smaller weeping willow just behind the tree in the foreground. I never used this picture as I didn't like the garbage can in the photo. Now, with the demise of the willow, I am glad to have it.

Weeping Willow After the Storm

Here's how I found the willow on Sunday morning after the storm. When the wind had started blowing hard the afternoon before, I noticed some people still sitting around the picnic tables, but I went running for cover, and left the picnickers to fend for themselves.

Close Up Center of Trunk of Weeping Willow

This is the interior of the fallen half of the willow tree. Though it had looked pretty solid when upright, you can see it was rotten to the core.

Interior Willow Tree Trunk Upright

Here's what the interior of the still-upright willow trunk looked like. Just the day before, I had made a comment about how lovely the willows looked in this half of the garden; another gardener responded that willows were brittle, and in a storm, the last place that you'd want to be is near one; they fall down easily and dramatically. Gives a whole new interpretation to The Wind in the Willows. Think of that as an alarm to clear out :-)

Weeping Willow Cut Up

I'd sent the above pictures to Para, who arranged for the fellows in Forestry to come cut down the tree. I am only sorry I didn't get over to the gardens to video them felling the tall bit. In a few hours (less?) the tree is ready for chipping and hauling away.

Weeping Willow Stump

This is all that's left of the stump and branches. Some good chipping to be done here. But the willow's demise makes for guilt-free planting of trees more suited to shading a Rhododendron Garden, and there is a long term plan to add more rhodos and rhodo habitat to this section of the garden.

The End of the Willow

And so, we say goodbye to a long serving shade tree, that sucked up water in a low lying area. Now to see what will replace it.

Update July 9, 2009
Yesterday, the city crew came to make wood chips out of the remains of the fallen weeping willow. (It had been so many weeks since the original willow collapse that I had wondered if the fallen tree was a new naturalization initiative.)

Weeping Willow Cleanup

City crew sawing and hauling tree remains to chipper. The head gardener decided not to use the remains of this tree as mulch in the BRG since it might be contaminated. Makes sense: After all, whatever killed the tree could kill other garden plants.

Wood Chipper Truck

I video'd the truck and small cat used to haul and chop the old tree sections into mulch. And since I couldn't get too close to the working men and machines, I used the zoom lens. Well, for that one really needs a tripod. Sorry the video didn't work out as hoped.

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