100 year old tree R.I.P.

Three summers ago we decided that we were tired of having walnuts fall on our heads, the dogs head, the pool.  We were tired of stepping on them, our feet rolling out from under us, raking, slipping, and hauling them to the trash in heaps.  This went on for many years.  I walked out to look at the dog, and he appeared to have a headache.  And he wouldn’t come out of his dog house.  I don’t blame him at all.  Poor pup, dodging walnuts all day long . . .

Understand, we loved this tree (aside from the hazards of falling nuts)  It was a supreme shade tree, and woodpeckers, and all kinds of wildlife would nest in it.  It was there when we moved in, and was a regular fixture.  At the time of it’s cutting, it was a full eighty (80) feet tall, and at least 100 years old.  Yes, an actual living antique.  (hence it’s presence here on the website)

But the nuts . . . All those nuts . . .

I remembered my childhood days of gathering walnuts in bushel baskets and cracking them with a hammer (my Mom occupied my mind, but made me cookies out of them) We tried it again as older people.  We put them in a small cement mixer with rocks to dehull them, but it was still a mess.  And the slurry absolutely would poison everything that lived in the yard.  Cracking them was . . . well, not as fun as I remembered as a child.

Tree cutting machinery, LIFT

The lift we went up in to cut limbs off the tree

We decided to cut it down.  After about two weeks, we had all the limbs cut off, cut them into lengths of 24 inches and stacked all but the biggest in our side yard.

The 26 foot tall stump was left with its roots in the ground still standing.  We felt like tree killers, which we surely were.  But it was preferable to getting killed ourselves one day by nuts falling from 80 foot in the air.

Talk about acceleration.  POW that would hurt bad.  And I have more than once stepped on one and roller skated on one leg for several feet.

The limbs were removed from the walnut tree and cut into 24 inch lengths.  I thought it a travesty to use them for firewood, but I have been told that it is one of the longest burning woods there is due to the oil content of the wood.

Limb wood pile from 100 year old Walnut tree stacked up

Limb wood pile from 100 year old Walnut tree stacked up

This Woodpile of pure American Walnut measures 32 feet long by 5 foot 4 inches tall, and it contains a mix of large and small lengths off wood from the branches of our American Walnut tree that was cut in 2009. So it has been seasoning in its pile since that time.

End grain of large walnut tree branch

End grain of large walnut tree branch

There are also several very large branch bases many inches in diameter.  Beautiful wood.  I know walnut because my father was a woodworker, and he made some gorgeous lamps, bowls, salt shakers, and furniture from it.  I used to watch him work with the wood on his lathe and tell me about each of the woods he worked with.  He talked about wood as if it were something he liked to eat. He also bought a walnut stump one year, had it kiln dried, and cut into planks to use in his woodworking.

100 year old walnut tree

Trunk of 100 year old walnut tree

The main trunk, which is still in the ground along with the roots.  It measures 9’6″ foot in circumference, and is 26 foot tall.  Each year it grows small branches off the top, so it must still be minimally alive.

Two other trees that have not yet been cut down are both very large and straight.  A Pecan tree, and a Tulip Poplar. Any of the three trees would make some great furniture, gun stocks, or carving wood.

Tulip Poplar tree

Tulip Poplar tree

Pecan Tree

Pecan Tree

It is all for sale, but we do not have equipment to move it or ship it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through the comment section of this blog and I’ll get back to you A.S.A.P.


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