2nd update: I'm heartbroken. I sobbed. The tree has been saved, but at what cost? (Well, $4k, but what I meant was...) Early this morning the tree guy came back with his crew and five trucks. This was going to be a major undertaking:

Before I left for work I took one last picture of my beautiful tree:

The smaller trees in front of it are dogwoods, which turn red earlier than the oak. I came back at noon to this:

The angle isn't quite the same; the tree is now significantly shorter than it was. Having enjoyed this tree since we bought the house in 1991, it looked decimated to me:

and I cried. Although, even before they put two cables high in the tree, the split began to close up once the crown was lighter, and it does look less scary now:

Bob tells me the crown will come in much fuller in the spring, and after a few years I won't be able to see through it again. I can only hope so.

Update: Bob Blakely, owner of Northern Woods Tree Services, just left. (Note: it's after 8pm.) He climbed up into the tree and put a rope in it to stabilize it for the night. (He recommended I sleep in the far end of the house tonight.) He's coming back in the morning with a crew. They'll put bolts and cables in the tree and do a crown reduction that will reduce the weight of the crown by about a third. It'll cost about $4k. Could be worse: at least the tree will survive. He said it's a very healthy tree--the problem is just structural. It's a white oak by the way; probably more than 100 years old.

This is my house. There are two beautiful oak trees in my front yard. One of them is directly in front of the house:


It looks even scarier from the other side:

I've thrown a few things into a suitcase, put it in the trunk of my car, and parked down on the street. I'm waiting for a call from one or the other of a couple of tree guys on whose phones panic-stricken messages have been left. If half of this tree falls on my house, as seems imminent, it will demolish it.

July 2012

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