This morning we had our coffee and toast in the shade of a giant hybrid poplar tree beside the back door to our house for the very last time. Though it actually resides in the yard of our neighbour we have enjoyed both the benefits and the displeasures it occassionally brings us for the thirteen years we have lived in Tisdale. Back in 2003 with some appropriate pictures I did a story on this tree. Each year I have been thrilled when its leaves come out and the sap stops dripping on the vehicles in the driveway, each summer I have cherished its shade, the birds who make their homes in it and each fall my wife dispised the thing because of the massive deposit of leaves it creates.
This is one of the first hybrid poplars that came along developed from the black poplar and other fast growing and hardy varieties this tree was bred to provide a quick forest. Hundreds of thousands of them were planted by MacMillan Blodel in the commerical forest south of Hudson's Bay. As principal at Weekes in the early seventies as a fund raising project the student council contracted to plant this variety out there in the logged forest. In the mid eighties I was astonished to fly over that area and see the neat rows and rows of these remarakable trees fully matured.
This one was planted in 1973 making it thirty-five years old and well past its prime when it should have been brought down at about twenty-eight. My wife has always been worried about the monster with its huge bows extending out over the house and concerned that a high wind might do considerable damage. Her fears and concerns were well founded. Last summer we noticed that of the two trunks of the tree one was losing its bark as it rotted on one side up to about eight feet above the ground.
I arranged with the owner of the property to have the tree taken down but the contractor after closer examination of the job decided it was a bit tricky for his equipment. So this year I went to Mr. Tree and he agreed to terminate the tree. What he discovered in the removal process was that both trunks were rotted about half through and time and light wind would bring all that weight crashing down on our house or the driveway anytime soon.
The process of falling a tree in a neighbourhood is quite different than out in the woods. Before the tree was cut down the weight of limbs had to be taken away so that the glide path would be completely under control. Using his Bobcat with a special scaffold Mr. Tree trimmed the tree down to size one trunk at a time then just at about 11:00 the first one was knocked over and loaded up then after lunch the more ackward west side trunk was cleared of its huge limbs then it too was toppled.
We are going to miss this monster, perhaps its leaves and bird droppings will be less of a problem but the shade and beauty are gone. But like all things there are always contingencies. In this case a runner from the tree's root system launched an offspring thirteen years ago and that tree is already a sizeable tree in the back yard. My wife does not like the look of it either.
To see the process click on the images below to see them in a larger size.