Sunday, July 22, 2018


The old locust tree by the front door has been a source of worry for some years and we considered having it topped a few years ago when the others around the house were done.  We I was too sad to think of all of them being reduced so much so we didn't trim that one.  This spring we revisited the idea.  The honey bees hadn't survived the winter and it seemed like a good time to bite the bullet and do it.  We called our tree guy but he didn't get back to us and we let is slide.  Then new bees moved in to the tree and we didn't press the matter. 

Last night a storm front came in with wind and rain.  Early this morning, after hearing a gawd-awful WHUMP we looked out the front door at this.

The rain system came in on an east wind which is unusual for the summer when the tree is fully leafed out.  Wind plus wet leaves plus age equals destruction.  How bad would it be when we really went out to look?

The broken section miraculously fell exactly in the only place it could and not cause major damage - squarely in the narrow area between the house and garage.

It did break a modest branch off the flowering crab next to the garage but it never touched the nice wind chimes that were a gift just recently.

Quite the mess.

It was literally half the tree and nothing we were going to clean up in a few minutes.

Also, a very large limb was teetering on the edge of the upper storey roof but we weren't about to try to get it off in the wind and rain.  You can just see the broken stub of it superimposed over the vertical trunk of the standing tree.

What about the bees?

The front of the tree looks pretty damaged but the crease where they fly in and out wasn't much affected.  There were a few bees walking on the trunk but it was raining and barely sixty degrees so one would hope the quiet normal behavior meant no big disturbance in their world.

Sometime during the morning while we were doing other things the big branch took itself off the roof and somehow rolled or twisted out and away from the house and windows.  Again, there was an amazing lack of damage.  Even my garden gargoyle suffered no harm despite the tree trunk coming to rest just nudging his wings.  I think he should have had his hands over his head at this point.

The afternoon brought sun and a chance to clean up.  We still marvel at how the tree missed everything important.

Andy nibbled away the leafy branches first with the chainsaw and I pulled them away into a big pile for removal later.  Once he could reach it, Andy got the tractor bucket under the broken trunk and lifted/pulled it off the porch railing and could cut it loose from the standing tree.

Once the sun came out and the air warmed up the bees became very active and worked busily going to and fro as though nothing had happened.

Our friend, Red, came over and helped and it really went very quickly.

The profile of the yard is quite different and it will likely change again soon.  Our tree trimmer got another call from us today and he was here this evening to look over the situation.  He doesn't see a problem with topping the remaining tree and will get to us as soon as possible.  For now the tree looks like this.

And we are counting our blessings!


  1. all were so lucky!! Such a big tree could have caused major damage to your home!!

  2. That's amazing. I'm a tree-hugger myself and hate to see them cut, but when big trees are that close to your house, they can spell disaster. I'm glad everyone is okay, including the bees.

  3. Oh. my. word! You and your farm must be watched over by the angels! I am so glad that you and Andy, the house and the beeeeesssss are all OK! (Is any of the wood salvageable for Andy to work with???)

  4. I can just see your guardian angels laying that tree down "just so" to avoid breaking the wind chimes and the gargoyle. Do you know any beekeepers who could move the bees out for you? Happy to hear all is well.

  5. Ohhh! I hate to loose trees, too - but I am so glad your home didn't sustain damage. Glad the gargoyle was watching out for your yard :-)

  6. Gosh. I'm glad no one was hurt, in addition to the miraculous absence of damage.

    The bunny rabbits looked even less perturbed than the gargoyle. With so many things attacking bees nowadays, thank goodness this tree wasn't an additional one.

    Can you use any of the fallen part of the tree as firewood?

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  8. I hate when we loose a tree. The old oak by the deck is hanging in there. we have lost several branches from various Osage tree is in the drive.

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