Readers might recall that the town where I live, Byng, Oklahoma, was hit by a severe thunderstorm in the predawn hours of July 11.
We were fortunate that very few structures were damaged, but a huge number of trees, including some of the trees on the patch where I live, were damaged. The neighborhood is buzzing with the sound of chain saws, and the air is full of light wood smoke as we all slowly, as time permits, clean it up and burn the branches.
Here on the patch, the big, 125-year-old black walnut just north of the house got the worst of it. It didn’t look too terrible at first, but as the damaged branches turned brown, it became obvious that more than half of this huge, beautiful hardwood was damaged.
I mentioned this to a photographer friend of mine, Wes Edens, who offered to bring his three chair saws over to help cut it up so I could drag it all down the hill and burn it. When I mentioned this to my next door neighbor Mike Nipps, he offered to bring his tractor over to pull some of the biggest broken branches out of the tree, where they hung by threads and tangles.
There are a couple of very large branches that none of us could reach, and I’m not interested in hiring an expensive tree guy to get them, since they don’t threaten to fall on any structures.
Abby loved the old walnut, and she would be sad to see it so torn up. But it’s not the first time the weather has roughed up this tree, so time will tell if it can recover.
Thanks again to Mike and Wes for the manpower and the horsepower.