Is there a special tree that brings a pleasurable moment to your life…and I don’t mean cutting it down. Our personal perspectives about trees are so diversified. Trees are good! Click link for a great site that presents more tree benefits.
But what about dead trees?
A first reaction to a dead tree would call for its removal. But pause and assess the situation before making a hasty decision that could turn beneficial. Dead trees can be fire prone, dangerous, and unsightly. Yet, they can also be architecturally inspiring, provide interesting habitat, and return carbon to the earth.
There is one tree that I find intriguing…and so do my hound dogs on our daily walk. A large dead eucalyptus tree that stands along the road and down a slope, where outreaching dead, woody limbs, protrude into the sky. Flocks of crows frequently assemble in what appears to be a communal meeting.
Arboriculturally speaking, eucalyptus wood is quite dense, which also makes it a slow burning, and hot firewood. After trees die, wood decomposes. Wood density affects the rate of decomposition. Dense eucalyptus wood degrades more slowly than many other species. Thus, high density eucalyptus limbs and roots can keep a tree standing long after it dies (barring root rot and other detrimental conditions).
I fondly remember another dead eucalyptus I first observed in 1977 along the southern entrance to the San Marcos pass. [non-locals click link] During my inaugural year in the tree biz, I scoped out the potential job of removing that tree. It overshadowed several small young Oak and California Pepper trees. Fast-forward 35 years, September 2012: The dead euc still stands, enveloped by large mature Oak and California Pepper trees.
Back to crows: they are known to be intelligent creatures yet really annoying. Would our ecological system be impacted by the loss of these big, noisy birds? That’s food for thought. But crows perched on dead trees are cool! They offer an interesting perspective to a day in the life of a dog walk.
I’m glad this dead euc is still around. It may soon disappear. Until then, We (Josie, Lily, and myself), will enjoy it. How do I know? I asked them.
What is your favorite tree and where? Let me know.
How can I help you with your trees?