The Pine Bark Beetle Killed This Beautiful Pine Tree, our Friend
This weekend was so exhausting and also a little sad. On Saturday we took down about a 50 foot Pine tree we built our house around. When Deb and I picked the spot to build our house, we specifically chose where the house is now built because of this wonderful tree that was always covered with birds. About 6 months ago we started seeing some big changes in our tree as it started to dry out and wither always. Once we realized that it was covered with the Pine Bark Beetle we knew it was to late to save it. It only took a week for it to go from green needles to a completely brown, and dead, tree.
Our tree as it was when the house was being built two years ago, April 2006. We told the builders to not stress out the tree to much but that is like telling boxer to not break this crystal while you fight. They marked it off like this with 2x4's and up until a few weeks ago it was doing well, but probably was stressed due to the building of the house.
The tree in April 2008 after the pine bark beetle got to it. From my research into the work of the pine bark beetle, they tend to go after a weak tree or one that is prone to disease. Once they get where you can see them in the bark and all the little holes they make in the bark, it is probably to late. The big issue is they can move from tree to tree rather easily and kill large stands of pine trees, but usually healthy trees can fight them off. Hopefully the surrounding trees here can do that since our entire property is covered in pine trees.
The tree as it stands now, the future home of a garden, patio, table, something nice. We didn't know what exactly we wanted to do with the area yet so we left the stump rather high to be able to come back later and cut it down.
You can see this tree in just about every photo of the building of our house as it progressed (see Footprint for the House), but we knew when we built the house that just the pounding from the building equipment might weaken the tree. It gave us more than two years of great pleasure watching countless birds and squirrels, while providing some nice shade. It was A LOT of work to bring it down and cut up all the branches, especially in 90 degree weather. The video is the tree falling. The tree of course was only feet from our house and we had to bring it down in a small area where it, wouldn't take out the gutters, the garden, the car, the house, and anyone standing around.
We hit the spot pretty close but it was a tense few seconds when it was finally coming down just to see how close we would get to the mark. It really wasn't as dramatic a fall as I thought becuase all the branches basically caught the trees fall. Something nice will go in its place, but not any time soon, my muscles hurt.