Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Tree Felling: An Ode to Old Rose

A photo of Nebraska DaveA big hello from frosty Nebraska. Thanks for dropping by again. Today I’d like to tell you about old Rose. She started her life back in 1965 when the house I now live in was built. She was just a twig in back yard but decided to be the best Rosebud tree she could be. Years past and she grew tall and majestic. Every Spring she draped lovely purple color all over her foliage.

Rosebud tree in her prime

When I came along and made her my own she was about 20 years old and had grown big and strong. She had grown to be about three feet across the base and had many branches that shaded the yard. She was a proud tree that beatified the yard wonderfully well. Then the ants came marching one by one (old Cub Scout song). Carpenter ants took up residence in her core. Before I even knew that they were there her center had been eaten in many of the branches. A large branch that fell exposed the damaged internal part of Rose.

Fallen branch from a rosebud tree

With saws and axes my friends and I trimmed her up with tender care in hopes that those pesky old ants could be controlled. Alas another branch came down as Old Rose tried her best to keep her branches up high and not let the internal rot keep her from blooming.

Rosebud tree being dismantled

Sad was the day when she just couldn’t bloom much and stood there with dead branches poking into the sky that once reflected her bright plumage. With a little help from my friends we started the demise of Old Rose. Slowly and reverently piece by piece we laid her to rest on the back yard never to bloom again.

Taking down the rosebud tree

There remained only one thing left to do and that was to remove her stump. Over the course of a year a friend made it his mission to spend Saturdays digging and chopping around the root system to remove her stump. With the purchase of “Big Burtha”, a 460 Magnum Stihl, the last of her stump was removed and gently laid on the back yard patio waiting to be cremated.

Rosebud tree stump

Now all that’s left of the once majestic Rose is fire pit wood on the patio. However the gaping hole left behind will become one of the summer projects. The plan is to make the area into an outdoor patio with fire pit. The last hurrah for Old Rose will be to warm the hearts of those around the fire pit telling stories of the life and times of Old Rose the once majestic tree that once stood high in the sky on the very spot we are enjoying.

The pit left after the rosebud tree was removed

I hope you all enjoyed the tale of Old Rose and how she grew up, lived and died. The lesson here to learn is to be the best we can be with the gifts and talents in our possession. Come on back again, and we’ll sit and spin a yarn or two. Oh yeah, and the coffee’s always on.

oz girl
4/17/2010 5:26:41 PM

We've got a few trees on our property that are going to need removed due to poor health... but since I've only been living in KS for less than 2 years, I fear I'm not sentimentally attached to any of them, yet! Your rosebud/redbud was sure a beauty! But I think the hole she left behind will be the perfect spot for your firepit, and what a fitting tribute to her. That firepit will provide many hours of enjoyment, and I'm sure there will be some lovely stories to tell about the rosebud that used to grace that spot in your yard! :-)


s.m.r. saia
4/16/2010 6:13:25 AM

It's always a shame to lose a tree, and they do leave such a void! Funny how the space they leave behind always looks smaller than the space they took up. What a great idea to use the space for a fire pit, though. I look forward to seeing how that turns out!


lori
4/7/2010 10:57:32 PM

Nebraska Dave, So sad that Rose had to go! She was a beauty! It's a shame you couldn't make a keep-sake from part of her! A birdhouse,or feeder, or some such decoration, but you are right, she will warm you in the same place she once stood, while sitting on a lovely patio enjoying the great outdoors!


nebraska dave
4/2/2010 1:52:52 PM

Cindy, It is interesting that different parts of the country have different common names for plants and trees. I guess that’s why everything has that big long Latin name that nobody but master gardeners can pronounce. : o ) We’ve had another glorious day here but I fear that the cold is going to return before long. I bought my seed potatoes today and if the weather holds they will be in the ground tomorrow. The rule here is potatoes are planted by Good Friday. Pam, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I do hope that your tree lives on for many years. Oak trees due take a long time to grow. I’ve hear that if you plant an oak tree, you plant it for your grand children to enjoy. Both of you have a great Easter and Spring.


pam_6
4/2/2010 10:40:22 AM

Your old Rose was a beauty. She lived a good and pretty life. We have a huge red oak in our front yard that lighting struck a couple of years ago. It has a big crack down the side. We weren't expecting it to put on leaves last year, but it did. This year it is already sprouting leaves. I have high hopes it will live on for a good many more years. I also like the idea of the fire pit in Rose's stump hole. That cup of coffee sounds real good too. Have a great weekend. Pam Life on a Southern Farm


cindy murphy
4/2/2010 10:31:58 AM

Hey, Dave. Who knows why a tree chooses to grow to what one might think is monstrous porportions in comparison to others of the same species. My neighbor's redbud is in the perfect spot for a redbud, and looks scraggly like they often do. The lady down the street as one planted in what would appear to be the worst possible location, and it is nice and full, and twice as big as my neigbor's. That's what we call them here - redbuds. Actually, I've always assumed that's what everyone called them; I've never heard them referred to as rosebuds. Goes to show, though, how common names differ from one part of the country to another. Sometimes I've heard them called "Judas trees" which comes from an old legend that the European species was the tree on which Judas hanged himself, and that its white flowers turned red in shame. We also have a white flowering version here: "the white flowering redbud". Wouldn't it just be easier to call it a "whitebud"? Just a bit of folklore to tell 'round the fire when you reminisce about Old Rose. Gotta run - you're right, I'm back to work at the nursery. I had a bit of relaxing morning today, because I worked on my day off this week, and therefore am able to go in late today. In at noon, though, and I need to get going. Enjoy your Easter.


nebraska dave
3/31/2010 10:06:54 AM

Cindy, Old Rose was the biggest Rosebud tree I’ve ever seen. Most of the Rosebud trees here are not the major tree in the yard. They are usually the ornamental tree over in the corner that looks cutesy and adds character to that part of the yard. I’m not sure why Old Rose grew tall and majestic but I sure will miss her beauty in the back yard. Keith must have quite an imagination. Who would have ever thought that a tree could be glued back together and live. I’d be interested in what kind of glue he used and how he kept the split together while the glue dried. That’s quite the feat for sure and yes nature is indeed resilient. The weather here is supposed to be 30 degrees above normal with the temperature topping out over 80 degrees. Not to worry though because by the weekend the temperature will be back down to 21 for a night time low and 50 during the day. Ah Spring time in Nebraska. Ain’t it wonderful? I think you mentioned that you are at work with the nursery. I’m not doing the seasonal Spring plant delivery this year so I might just have time to get more of those projects done on the Urban ranch this year. Have a great Spring.


cindy murphy
3/30/2010 6:06:08 PM

Hi, Dave. I remember you mentioning Old Rose in some of your comments in the past - it's nice to finally see her. I've never seen a redbud get that large! Redbuds are native here as an understory tree in the forest - but we are on the very northern tip of their range, and they only get 20, maybe 30 feet tops. Rose was quite the specimen! I'm sorry for you she had to go. It's such a sad thing for many people losing a tree such as her - I've seen many people at the nursery get emotional, explaining they are looking to replace a tree they've lost. I know Hubs and I were devastated when one of our maples cracked nearly in half during a storm. I'm amazed "we"...I should say "Keith" was able to save it: amazed a 60 foot plus tree could be glued together and live....and probably more amazed that a grown man would attempt to glue a 60 foot tree together! It was definitely one of those "told you so" moments for him....and still is five years later, because the beauty is still alive. Ah, the resilence of nature. And of man too....I hope you get your firepit, and I know you'll have plenty of stories to tell around those fires!


nebraska dave
3/30/2010 3:50:36 PM

MW, Old Rose brought many beautiful days of blooming every Spring for the better part of 20 years. It's just been the last couple years that really did her in. I hope to have many more memories from sitting around the fire pit. I think maybe there might be some Smores involved. Maybe even a BBQed rib or two. If I could get a cup of coffee through the computer, I'd sure share a cup with you. Maybe someday I'll make up your way. I just never know where the road of life leads these days. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy those Spring days when you can.


mountain woman
3/30/2010 2:41:02 PM

I'll take a cup of that coffee!! What a wonderful story. I'm so fond of our old trees and we never log them but when one happens to have to come down for health reasons, I am always sad. So much history there in the old trees. I love the idea of old Rose warming the hearts of those who gather around your fire pit. She sounded like quite a beautiful tree.