Look Out Below

Today’s post is being written on a Tuesday, instead of the typical Sunday routine. That is because Denver, and a large portion of the front range of Colorado, experienced extremely high winds over the weekend. Our house lost power from Saturday evening until Monday morning and unfortunately, that is not all we lost. Let’s take a collective break from the dining table build this week to say a proper goodbye to a ~70 year old tree.

Note the wonderful shade that the tree provided in the afternoon (and the old, terrible hoophouse).

Our shade tree, while not beautiful, was an impressive elm that dominated the front landscape of our yard. On Saturday, Allyson and I had started working inside, knowing that a big storm was coming our way. We felt the wind calm and then the house was hit by winds so strong it felt like the pressure wave from an explosion. I looked out of our office window as the left trunk of the tree split and fell across our neighbor’s yard and into the street.

View of the downed tree from our front door.

Unfortunately, it appears that the elm tree was suffering from some rot within its trunk, most likely a result of poor care prior to us buying the house. It also doesn’t help that the tree was most likely original to the house (1955) and was hit with 70+ mph winds from the storm on Saturday.

Our whole neighborhood was hit pretty hard, with multiple trees and fences down all around us.

This neighbor lost a tree in front and a tree in back, which fell right on the power line.
Our neighbor’s pear tree fell right on their house loop power line.

After the storm, we called up our tree guy, Jose, and he came out on Sunday to take care of our tree (and 2 others for our neighbors). By the end of this week, the trunk will be ground down ~16” below ground. This will allow Allyson and I to add a couple garden boxes in the old tree location. We are also going to plan out and plant 2-4 smallish fruit trees.

Jose and his team took the tree out so quickly, it was fantastic. The trunk had a diameter of about 4′.

It is sad to see such an old tree taken out in 10 seconds of wind. Without the tree our house, without air conditioning, is about to get all of the sun in the afternoon. Probably going to end up being a million degrees in the house. Looking on the bright side, we can more than double our garden space and plant some new fruit trees, and that is exciting.

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