2011 - Catastrophe on Xmas Eve!!

On Xmas Eve, Santa must have not been paying attention, or maybe it was Rudolph's fault?? BUT, our 50 year old Black Oak tree fell over - INTO the pond.

The beautiful half-century old Black Oak tree behind our pond came down on Xmas Eve. We assumed Santa's Sleigh hit it, although it *could* have been root rot from too much water! The pix below are in chronological order, ending Jan. 12th when Dave finished splitting the wood. Special thanks to Bill Houghton and my brother Rick Claypole for their expertise and physical help!!

This is the last picture showing the tree standing, ~ one month ahead of catastrophe!

~10:30 PM we heard what sounded like a pack of dogs running across our deck, but when we turned the lights on in the backyard, this is what we saw....Oak tree in our pond!!

Xmas morning showed us the full extent of what had happened...the WHOLE tree had come down, we thought maybe it had just split....

Amazingly all but the back of the bench survived! With a little work I think we can still use it.

I thought our 'spy cam' would have caught the tree as it fell, but no, this was the first pix it took the next day...

Quite amazing that the tree split around the waterfall boulders - it would have been so much more a catastrophe is the boulders had been pushed into the pond.

The tree sort of cradles the waterfall boulders....we were soooo lucky!

I think this planter full of redtwig cornus saved us - otherwise the whole tree would have dropped another 2 ft and taken the waterfall out.

View from the back.

Luckily it didn't come anywhere near the house.

Our friend Bill came to help Dave figure out how to handle this...

Then Bill whipped out his chainsaw, and we had dueling chainsaws!!

They tried to keep the wood out of the pond...

One of the first things we did was clear the walkways.

Eventually we needed a 'bigger gun' - so my brother Rick Claypole came over with his 30" blade.

Debris in the pond....and cut logs. We drained the pond partway so we could get to them more easily....I had just had knee surgery and couldn't do it in my fisherman's chest waders, and I'm the only one who could fit in the waders.

Dave using a rake to pull up the submerged logs....

LOTS of sawdust...a huge cartload full....plenty in the pond, no way around it...

This shows jus some of the firewood that needed splitting...my Dad's OLD "Lickity Splitter", older than the tree was, worked wonderfully.

The finished product....plus piles and piles of smaller cut logs all around the property.