400+ beauty meets her end

Discussion of nature and nature spirits and dragons.
Post Reply
User avatar
firebirdflys
Forum Manager
Forum Manager
Posts: 8098
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 12:03 am
Gender: Female
Location: So. Cal.

400+ beauty meets her end

Post by firebirdflys »

A tree that I have admired and loved for many years has met it's end.
and it was caught on video...(you'll see below)

The storms of late have wreaked havoc with some of our ancient oak trees that have been suffering in the drought. Part of the problem is they suck up too much water too fast and the branches become overloaded with water and break, also the San Fernando Valley oaks have been getting root fungus disease, which I believe is exacerbated by the drought. The other problem is the oaks are protected...which is good...but then a housing project goes in and people plant lawns under them or a road goes next to them and their natural dripline is compromised. The whole area from dripline to trunk should not be disturbed.
The beautiful San Fernando Valley has many old oaks, besides scrub oak two are most prevalent,
Quercus agrifolia and Quercus lobata, that's "coast live oak" and "valley oak"...respectively.
The look of the coast live oak is what the area is known for....it is large and sprawling, typically with a perfect canopy, it is an evergreen, which means it is constantly loosing and renewing leaves.
The valley oak gets much larger with twisted branches that are less uniform to it's overall appearance, it is deciduous, meaning it looses all it's leaves...usually after the first or second cold snap which can be anytime from early November to February. This tree was favored by the local natives for its very large acorns with relatively low amout of tannic acid.
Both trees can get quite old and can reach ages up to 1000 years. There is another oak a few blocks from this house that is about 700 years old and was used for fuel in the kilns which made ash out of limestone to make mortar for the early structures of the area. It's called the Bicentennial oak (quercus agrifolia), and it's in a lovely park called Orcutt Ranch, there are several large oaks on the property but this one is thought to be most historic. There was an older tree in Encino, but it fell several years ago, it was 1000yrs old, the news guy mentions it at the end of the news clip.
Anyway, I tend to pay homage and leave offerings when I can to the very old ones in my area,
this particular tree was very near my flower shop,
so I would drive by and wave almost daily for years and years.

This oak (a Quercus lobata...valley oak), that you're about to see go down, is in a neighborhood that is about 35 to 40 years old, ...so this house was planted right next to this monster, and in my opinion, it took 35 years to kill a 400 year old tree. The roots were rotten...probably because of the lawn.
I'm seeing this problem all over where pavement, lawns or other high impact impede the dripline.

It's hard to watch, I cried initially....went by for photos today, maybe I can see if a staff will be avaliable!


[EDIT:] the original newsreel is gone but the tree crashing to the ground was archived below]
https://video-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t43 ... e=5F10F1AF

Gah...try again https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/loca ... s/1990063/

Bb, Firebird
Image

User avatar
SnowCat
Banned Member
Posts: 5528
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:29 am
Gender: Female
Location: The Spirals

Re: 400+ beauty meets her end

Post by SnowCat »

To think of the history that this incredible being witnessed, is amazing. I hope you're able to get a staff or wand or something from it.

Snow
Daughter of Sekhmet

User avatar
firebirdflys
Forum Manager
Forum Manager
Posts: 8098
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 12:03 am
Gender: Female
Location: So. Cal.

Re: 400+ beauty meets her end

Post by firebirdflys »

So far I just have a few leaves from the top which would have been about 40 to 60 feet high. I think I'll go over there now.
bubye!
:flyingwitch:
Image

User avatar
firebirdflys
Forum Manager
Forum Manager
Posts: 8098
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 12:03 am
Gender: Female
Location: So. Cal.

Re: 400+ beauty meets her end

Post by firebirdflys »

Ok, so I went over there and it felt a little strange tromping around on someone elses property, but the neighbors across the street had rented a wood splitter and were going to town cutting up wood and splitting it said, go ahead ...help myself to whatever I wanted.
I browsed a bit, observed the swarms of bees that were scrambling to ajust to their home that now lied sideways, along with many many birds who were fluttering in and out of the scramble of branches....made me wonder how many had nests that were now displaced. The tears began to roll down my cheeks, I took my grapfruit of offering and squeezed it under a heap of branches, "great beauty" I wispered under my breath, "you are loved, thank you for being so magnificent" a hawk screamed above, I hoped her nest was elsewhere.
I shall make the best use of the branches I gathered. Unfortunately I could not locate a branch that was staff worthy, maybe a different day...looks like they will be cleaning this up for weeks. Most of what I could access was shorter, suitable for wands, talking sticks, incense scoopers, ...and I used several branches in an arrangement of seasonal greens...it looks great!

Here's a couple pics:
There is a house under there
There is a house under there
Wood for days!
Wood for days!
This tree is one block over and looks very much like the one that went down...there is actually 3 trees of about the same age and size in the immediate neighborhood....all with lawns and roads under their dripline. Their days may be numbered.
The house is miniature in comparison
The house is miniature in comparison
this one is behind the above house, it is already leaning dangerously.
Great contrast to the sky
Great contrast to the sky
I love oak trees.
Firebird
Image

User avatar
firebirdflys
Forum Manager
Forum Manager
Posts: 8098
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 12:03 am
Gender: Female
Location: So. Cal.

Re: 400+ beauty meets her end

Post by firebirdflys »

This is happening to more and more trees around the valley, not crashing on houses, but out in the fields.
Image

User avatar
L.J.Hex
Posts: 594
Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 6:29 am
Gender: Gender Fluid
Location: A land far away up north

Re: 400+ beauty meets her end

Post by L.J.Hex »

And this here is why people are often like trees... No tree can survive well without a forest. This kind of thing angers and saddens me like nothing else as I totally adore and love trees. This reminds me, I should do something nice when going for a walk next time as the largest and probably one of the oldest alder trees in Finland grows just stones throw away from my place... Right next to dirt road of course. Luckily the forest there is and will stay untouched. The reason why there's so many old trees nearby is that there used to be housing there and also industry so that piece of land has been privately owned for a long time = no tree fields to feed the paper moloch.

I really despise it when people don't respect old trees and forests, for some weird reason majority of trees are very young comparing to how old they could and should be. The few age old ones should be protected and protection means no poking around with the ground anywhere near them. But who listens? Specially if there's money to be made...

This brings me on another point about trees, at our summerhouse is the only place where I'm in partial control of how the trees grow, its a pain to keep cutting some down which is a must or else our proterty turns into an inpassable jungle in about ten years of time as there's new saplings popping up like crazy. The place is literally on the edge of a forest and we've kept many trees on our property, unlike some people who wipe them out from their places. I have decided to protect the eldest pine trees which are very few over there. Also some birches will stay and grow as they like, I don't care if they block bit of the sun. And there's another point, we have to get firewood somehow and from time to time its our own trees, there's a dilemma, the biggest ones give most firewood, but if they're always cut, there is no big trees at all which I don't like one bit. Young forest is totally different beast than an old one. Diversity is the best, but there's the same problem every time... To protect the old ones or to pay a lot for getting firewood. Sucks to own such small property and be a 100% treehugger.

That thing about the ancient oaks really sucks, I've seen that same thing happen here, big old oaks rot from the inside as their environment is tampered with and then they fall and have to be cut down. Terrible waste of oldest living creatures we have around. :/ Oh yea, I just called a tree as if an animal, I think they have a mind of their own, they're just incredibly slow and sit in their place. Trees have souls.
By my feet the flowers of witchery abloom.

User avatar
firebirdflys
Forum Manager
Forum Manager
Posts: 8098
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 12:03 am
Gender: Female
Location: So. Cal.

Re: 400+ beauty meets her end

Post by firebirdflys »

I've made friends with many trees around town, drive by and wave or honk, yell out the window. One at the college I went to, is a gorgeous lemon eucalyptus, it knocked out a message to me the first time I hugged it. :) We really don't get forest here, well at least not until you hit the mountains otherwise you have to go north. It's really a desert here and Joshua trees are nice, but not like redwoods.
So many of those old oaks are in peoples lawn, oaks don't like lawn unless you clear the grass to the dripline. But like most of the oaks in the fields around here, it's years of drought, then beetles settle in and one day BOOM the tree goes down, usually when we get our Santa Ana winds. :(
bb, FF
Image

User avatar
L.J.Hex
Posts: 594
Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 6:29 am
Gender: Gender Fluid
Location: A land far away up north

Re: 400+ beauty meets her end

Post by L.J.Hex »

So nice. ^_^ I should befriend that huge alder tree... Its not even far from my place. Btw, I just read the news of one of Finlands most well known sacred trees has finally fallen. No one knows its age, but it has a name (Iso-mänty, big pine) and a lot of stories about it. Apparently a very powerful spirit used to live in it, the story goes that no human can cut it down and many have tried, but failed so it was left there and now finally reached its end. It had seemingly died already nearly a century ago, but no storm, nothing could break it. It seems that its guardian decided to finally leave or find a new home. Natural end though, no human could hard that pine tree. :D
By my feet the flowers of witchery abloom.

Post Reply

Return to “Nature - Plants, Animals, Faeries, Dragons”