A Cowboy’s Faith: Reprieving historical tree’s demise – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Reprieving historical tree’s demise

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It must have been a hundred years old, by the diameter, but it’s impossible to count the growth rings.”

The tree cutter made that estimation after downing the giant mulberry tree just a few feet outside the back door.

Removing such a long lived historical piece of ranch history was sentimentally saddening. It had been there much longer than the present ranch residents who’ve seen it continue thriving half-a-century.

Oh the true stories that tree would have told if could have remembered them and talked about each one.

Before the present ranch home was constructed near the already old tree there’d been a chicken house beside it. Hogs and rodents inhabited that structure in ample numbers at certain times as well.

For years, the tree was quite the fruit bearer. Mulberries are fun to pick and eat while even better yet when made into a pie. However, those yummy fruits sure do make a mess dropping onto anything around at their ripest maturity.

Neither a forestry major nor studier of tree growth, evidently certain mulberry trees quit bearing fruit in old age. At least that tree hadn’t produced mulberries for a long time; such its years of prolific yield were almost forgotten.

Wind and bolts of lightning damaged the tree sometimes through the decades so it was quite rotted in places. When blowing storms came the tree shook all over creating rancher fright. At any time the weakened tree could have come crashing on the nearby home or indoor arena.

Decision to take the historical tree out of its misery; more so reducing rancher worries, it had to be cut down. Now a tree with that much maturity and growth is no small job to be taken to the ground.

Estimate for removal had been given months earlier and finally the crew arrived. They’d claimed to be very busy, yet one wonders if the giant task-at-hand might have created procrastination.

Regardless, give those tree cutters a round of applause; they did a great job. That large diameter stump was even completely removed with soil in its place for more lawn.

As important as trees are, sometimes one just has to go, but it will be replaced.

Reminded of Ezekiel 17:24: “He made the small tree great, then it turned dry, as another sprouts green branches.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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