Photo Friday

I haven’t posted a picture to the Photo Friday challenge in a long time. The topic was “Best of 2008”, and I chose to interpret that as “best photo” rather than best event. Our best photo? One that Jeff took when our giant hackberry tree had to be cut down.

To be sure, this was NOT the best event of the year. In fact it was a rather traumatic experience. I still feel a pang every time I pull into the driveway and see the stump. It was a gorgeous shade tree and a big part of our front yard.

Unfortunately the tree was long past the average lifespan for a hackberry and slowly splitting into three pieces. The last ice storm that moved through our area weighed it down enough to snap the steel cable holding the major split in check. After a lot of agonizing we realized that the tree had to be taken down before it came down of its own accord on the roof or the car.

The photo really captures the effort it took to take it down. The guy we hired admitted that he’d underestimated the job – it took almost all day and he was exhausted when he left. Oddly, for days afterward the neighborhood deer decided to hang out around the stump, nibbling on the bark.

We plan to replace the tree this spring. We still haven’t decided whether we’ll plant a pecan, oak or maple yet. A couple of redbuds scattered around might be nice as well. Still, it’ll take a while before any of them will have the height and spread of the old hackberry.