The Harder They Fall

Remember back in April, how the white flowers of our Serviceberries (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance”) mingled with pink flowers of the neighbors’ Crabapple?

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Looks pretty nice, doesn’t it?

DSC_0774Well, that won’t be happening again any time soon. After two days of wind and rain, the Crabapple just keeled over. It had been in decline for a few years, so it wasn’t a complete shock.

DSC_0776It just broke open at the base, which seemed unusual to me. Looked like it had been rotting on the inside for some time.

DSC_0785I’ll miss the old pink Crabapple, but I doubt our Serviceberries will. Right now they’re probably thinking: “Finally! We can breathe!” The Crab did crowd them, and also blocked the morning sun. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Serviceberries put on a good deal of growth this year.

The neighbors told me they were thinking of replacing the Crab with a weeping cherry. This is not a tree I would have picked. For one thing, it wants more sun than it will get in this spot. Plus, it’s a sterile trees whose only purpose in life is to be pretty.

However, I bit my tongue. I don’t like preachy people, so I don’t like to be preachy myself.

DSC_0780
Just the tip of a large Siberian Elm branch that fell onto the Wild Currant patch in our back garden.

.In other news involving tottering hunks of wood, a large branch of the Siberian Elm in our back garden fell to earth over the weekend. It had broken off near the top months ago. Since then, I’ve watched its slow progress downward. Every couple of weeks it would fall a few feet and get snagged by another branch, as if it were taking a very leisurely scenic route home.

It could have fallen in such a way as to cause substantial damage to: 1) our Peonies; 2) the power lines to the house; 3) the bird feeding pole; or 4) the head of a person, such as myself, sitting and daydreaming on the patio below.

It did none of these things, for which I am grateful. Instead, it landed on the Wild Currant (Ribes americanum). You can’t really damage Wild Currant by dropping branches on it.

I think I’ll just leave the branch where it is. I have a laissez faire attitude toward falling pieces of tree. Small sticks and twigs I usually leave on the lawn. (I know people who go around picking up all the twigs on their grass, which strikes me as bizarre.) Larger stuff gets thrown into the wilder beds and borders, sometimes after a bit of dismembering.

Any large hunks of wood falling onto your garden lately?

31 Comments on “The Harder They Fall

  1. Man, I am so sad about the crab apple. It was so pretty! I’ve been wanting one for myself, but didn’t take the plunge. I also keep some of my bigger branches around and reuse them in various ways… I’m about to have a large-ish dead pecan branch removed because I’m also worried it will fall on someone’s head, I plan to use it as edging. So glad no one or thing of importance was hurt by your branch..

  2. it’s always interesting to see what comes of a transition time after one big plant falls. I recall watching those changes back in the woods of my childhood.

  3. Sad when a tree falls over. I know the feeling. But I have to admit cheering when the weed trees growing in my neighbor’s yard keel over. When I moved here 45 years ago there was a list of trees folks were not allowed to plant. As the township grew, enforcement became an issue so they dropped the restrictions. I can see a distant future where everything has been overgrown by buckthorn, willow, cottonwood, russian olive, box elder…. all the trees they tried to keep out, among others.

    • I know what you mean about the weed seeds. One of the first things I did when we moved in was take out all the buckthorn on our property.

  4. We have a huge branch, a real widow maker, stuck up in an Oak tree. It has been sitting there for two years now. It is dangerous enough to mow in the neighborhood, but it is right over a stacked stone planter which I refuse to weed or do work in. I keep hoping someone in my area will have a tree service visiting so I can hit them up for taking that sucker down before it kills me.

  5. It is sad about the crab apple, but you don’t sound distraught, so we can move on without pain.

  6. No large hunks of wood falling from the sky here lately. It was lucky there was little damage. We once had 27 pines fall during ice storms over two weekends, many of which hit the roof. So now you know why I like trees, but not close to the house.

    • Why do people plant big shade trees right next to the house? Is it a way for people to remind themselves it’s time to fix the roof (because a branch just fell through it)?

  7. I hear you about the perils of preachiness, but I guess I’m comfortable walking a bit closer to the preachy-line.

    For instance, if someone mentioned he/she was planning to plant either (a) an exotic invasive tree or (b) a tree with no wildlife value, I might say, “Oh, have you thought about XYZ instead?”

    Of course, if they expressed zero interest in my unsolicited suggestion, I’d drop the issue and move along.

    Hope your serviceberry thrives in its now-sunnier location!

    • I did suggest Aronia to them, which they seemed interested in. Then they went to Home Depot and came back with a Yoshino cherry. At least the birds do like the fruit.

  8. It was a brutal winter (by our standards) so we had lots of branches come down, large and small. The huge cherry limb that landed on the roof of our deck did so in as gentlemanly a manner as your elm. Lots of sawing and hauling but no disasters.

  9. It seems you (and your neighbour) have been extremely lucky with these misfortunes; no damage and the opportunity to plant something new or give another shrub more space! And you get more sun too. We had some very windy weather last week as well and lots of smaller twigs and debris came down from the trees all around the perimeter of the garden. In the winter our big old pussy willow tree came down in a storm, but fortunately fell so gracefully exactly parallel to the path missing our hedge, flower beds and roof! It was nonetheless a sad moment.

  10. I can hear your Serviceberries rejoicing. A large limb fell from one of our Hawthorns and broke the arm off of a bench I like to sit upon. The bench will have to be replaced. The limb has been removed. I am one of those tidy people. Can’t help myself. Wish I was so inside the house too. ha…

  11. Jason, your crabapple was completely bad in the trunk, surprisingly it did not earlier fall . Now you have free places for your new factories, right?
    Happy May 8, Victory Day!

  12. I’m surprised that the neighbour didn’t ask for your advice on a new planting. Over the winter a very large tree fell over on our hilltop – this particular tree had been dead for a long time but it seemed alive due to it’s annual covering of wild grape. Thankfully, it didn’t fall onto our garden area, which was right beside it, but it went the other way. What’s funny is that we didn’t even notice until one day during the winter, I looked on the hilltop and thought that something looked unusual up there. Even then I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I actually went up and saw what had happened.

  13. Glad no damage was done! So far, so good at the little house in the big woods. But we never know when something will fall. Life in the woods!

  14. Awwhh…sorry to see the crab apple go! Pleased to hear the branch didn’t land on you, having had falling branches hit me, the least said the better. Doris has left many a branch here, like you I’ll get around to it…maybe!xxx

  15. I am sorry about the old crab apple breaking off like that. It was a beautiful tree,although your service berry trees will probably be happier.

    We had a huge windstorm in April, with many downed limbs, mostly in the hazelnut grove.

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