Two trees have been the source of recent concern on our small horse farm. One was a stately old American tulip poplar which had grown to over eighty feet in height. It occupied a prominent place between the house and the barn, providing late morning shade for the barn and late afternoon shade for the house. The second tree was a tall pine which leaned, in a lovely picturesque fashion, over the fence and extended well out into the pasture.
Until it died, the leafy branches of the tulip poplar provided a shady umbrella under which one might catch a cooling breeze on hot summer days. No one seems able to pinpoint exactly when the poplar tree died; we only know it did not fully leaf out this past spring.
“It looks like this tree got hit by lightening”, my husband said one summer day as we looked up through the many bare limbs.
“But where did the lightening hit it,” I wondered as I circled the tree base looking for evidence of a strike on some branch.
“Who knows?”, he said, “but to avoid hitting the barn or house or tack and grain shed, we’ll need a professional tree service to fell this tree.”
Days stretched into weeks and the weeks became months during which one or the other of us would periodically say, “we need to call a professional to remove that tree before those large branches fall and damage something.”
* * *
It was about 5:15 on a rather windy Sunday morning that we were suddenly awakened by the sound of an unusual thump outside the window. “What in the world was that?” my husband whispered as he stumbled out of bed and hurried to the window to look outside. “Come here and look at this!”
Laying in the only place that tree could have been felled without damaging any farm structure was the eighty foot American tulip poplar.
“The placement is absolutely perfect,” he said as we looked out the window at the now shattered and splintered branches of the uprooted tree. “It looks as if a Divine hand guided that tree down.”
“It’s really a miracle,” I said, thinking of how only a few moments ago we had been in bed asleep on one side of the tree and the horses enclosed in their barn stalls on the other side of the tree. I felt blessed that God had spared us and our horses, even as we slept. For several moments we both stood there in silence, staring out the window at what had been a more imminently dangerous situation than we realized.
Finally my husband broke the silence with, “we’ll need to call a professional tree service to remove that tree.”
“And while they are here,” I reasoned, “let’s have them remove that pine tree that’s already half uprooted and leaning over the fence. In the event of a heavy snow fall or strong winds, it can only fall in one place – on the fencing. “
* * *
The shattered limbs of the poplar have now found their way to a mulch making operation across town. The huge poplar tree trunk might get recycled into lumber or furniture. I like to think perhaps that poplar wood could become part of a grand organ where poplar wood is often used or maybe it will become the pages of some fine book.
On our small farm, one miracle has far exceeded expectations for safety so the leaning pine tree has now been felled and its branches shredded BEFORE it gets the chance to take down the fence which would then allow two very cherished and highly adventurous Haflinger horses to gallop off in search of greener pastures.
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