We have a gorgeous old black locust tree in our front yard that we think is approximately 70+ years old. It has such a presence in our yard and just seems to wrap its arms around our home. It has beautiful blossoms in the Spring and their fragrance fills the whole neighborhood with the sweetest scent for several weeks. We had a black locust tree on the farm where I grew up too, so it is very special and sentimental to me. Even in the winter with the limbs void of any leaves, it is like an artist’s sculpture.
A couple years ago, we noticed several places on the trunk where fungus (or conks) were growing, plus a bed of mushrooms in the soil at its base. We had several arborists come look at it and got varying opinions as to the years left in the tree, but all were certain the tree was dying. After much thought, we decided to keep the tree for awhile and see if the amount of fungus grew and if there were any other signs of decay. It was just so hard to think of taking it down.
A month or so ago, we decided to trim back some of the heavier branches that were going across our neighbor’s fence. So with the help of our family, we set to work cutting the branches down using rope to swing the cut pieces back into our yard, etc. As one of the heaviest branches came falling down onto our yard, it made huge divots in the yard and I absolutely could not get over how heavy just that one branch was and what damage it could have done to a structure or worse, a family member. Steve has been worried about the tree and its proximity to our house since the first signs of decay, so I knew he would agree to my decision to finally take our wonderful tree down before anything happened to our home or anything else.
So we now have quotes from several arborists and will be making a decision within a week or so as to when it will come down. I am planning on saving part of the tree to make a carving out of as a remembrance, and have taken many photos of it through the years and plan on enlarging one of them and framing it behind an old window frame I have in the pantry. That way it will feel like I can still see my tree out the window. It will leave such a void in our yard, so we’re tossing ideas around as to what we can do in its place. One of the arborists suggested we get a grouping of three trees to put in another section of the yard, but my favorite idea is to build a gazebo where our tree sits now. It would go so well with our house and be a wonderful place to sit and read a book and have summer picnics.
It will be a sad, sad day for me when our wonderful tree comes down, but I know I’m making the right decision to protect our home and family from the severe damage it could cause if it came down on its own. Here are some of my favorite photos of our tree……