Requiem for a tree

Mark and Dudley inspect

I may have been a little premature in my post this morning that expressed relief that we had escaped so lightly from ex-tropical Cyclone Gita. We are still discovering damage but nothing to eclipse the mighty fallen gum tree on the neighbour’s farm.

Mark climbed down into the hole to give some sense of scale to the uprooted root ball

We know some of the history of these trees because they were planted by Mark’s great grandfather back in the 1870s. It seems likely that they were part of government-supplied seed or plants to trial alternative timber options for this recently settled colony. The early pioneers had already felled most of the accessible mighty kauri trees. We have a few gum trees, Pinus muricata and radiata dating from the same time, along with our remarkable rimu trees. He was a tree planter, was Thomas Jury, and this land had already been cleared of its native tawa when he took ownership.

Still standing

It isn’t clear why this tree fell. It was of a similar size and stature to the left hand tree and in a sheltered position. The winds were very strong but it is not as if these eucalypts have dense canopies of foliage which act as a sail in the wind. But there is a sense of sadness to see a mighty tree lying on the ground.

It must be said that the sadness to see a bit of family history gone is tinged with relief that this one is not our problem to clean up. It will be no mean feat chainsawing up this monster of twisted hard wood, even if the yield will be a mountain of good firewood.

Beautiful bark on many of the eucalyptus species

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3 thoughts on “Requiem for a tree

  1. janesmudgeegarden

    Eucalypts fall quite easily here in adverse weather. Whenever there’s a big storm in Sydney, there are many fallen trees and subsequent power cuts. I don’t think their root systems are very deep, and perhaps this contributes to the problem. Very sad to see your neighbour’s grand tree come down like that.

  2. tonytomeo

    Now that is more like our trees. Actually, we have the same blue gums here. Unfortunately, they do fall, and more often than the native trees do.

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