The other morning I was getting in my truck which is parked out front right now---garage full of computer desk yada yada---and I happened to look down towards the road. I noticed what looked like a very large limb had fallen from one of the Catalpa trees. The lilac bush was blocking my view, so I went ahead and got in the truck and drove down to the road gate. I couldn't believe what I was seeing---not a limb from the tree, but the tree itself was completely fallen on the ground.
I still can't believe it. Remember a few months back when I waxed rhapsodic about these mighty old Catalpa trees? Somewhere in there I noted that they had surpassed their projected life span of seventy years. That was kinda dumb on my part, evidently.
Damage Inspector Boone
To re-cap these trees were planted sometime in the mid 1930s. There were five of them still surviving from that original planting. There are now four. I am sad about losing this beautiful tree. Hopefully once it's all cleaned up (which will be quite a while!), I can eventually reseed a Catalpa there. Maybe from the tree itself.
Now, for the part that persists in creeping me out. The night it fell, there was no wind, no rain, no nothing. Granted I had the fans and air conditioning on part of the night, but there was also no sound. It appears as if it just gently, with nary a whoosh or a groan laid itself quietly down forever. Not two weeks before I was mowing around and around that tree for a half hour or better as I trimmed up the paddock. It's hard not to look at the rest of the trees with jaundiced and suspicious eyes now.
Looking the tree over it is obvious it was in distress--on the inside. Much of the trunk was rotted out, and when it fell it simply snapped at the base. If it had to fall, it could not have picked a better direction. It missed all major fences and except for a branch or two it also missed the other trees. It is also a blessing that there was no livestock in the paddock as well, since this is Jeff and Cal's old pen and I'm letting it rest for most of the summer.
I'm sure the ice storm a few years ago weakened it, and we've had some crazy storms this summer, with high winds, which probably completed the job. I still find it sobering that it fell on a quiet night. It'll make some nice kindling and fire wood. Nothing is better to get a fire good and hot quickly than Catalpa!
As for my truck that is parked out front? Well it's parked under two more of the Catalpas.....Time to get that garage cleaned out!