The big freeze this year took down the last major branch of a big hackberry tree in the back yard. We lost the right hand branch three years ago to a wind storm, and heavy ice brought down the left branch. Funny how freezing in the cold and dark makes you plan to have a larger stock of firewood on hand. So with a chainsaw and a pole saw, I took the 35 year old tree (at least the rings I counted) apart and over several days sliced it up into chunks.
There were lots of interesting things I noticed during the process. For one the tree was old and had a couple of bushels of mistletoe on the branches, as well as lots of other lichens and fungi. It reminded me of the Larry Niven novel, Integral Trees.
I collected lots of slices for Mary Ann to use in her Master Naturalist classes. Another oddity was that honeybees would gather and roll around in the sawdust. Were they gathering fermented sap? I haven’t a clue.
Eventually, I had to haul all the wood over to the shed where it could dry out over the next couple of seasons. That’s a chore that’s never done. Just today I realized that all of my fig trees are dead. No buds anywhere. Maybe they’ll grow back from the roots, but for now—more dead wood to cut into handy stackable and burnable lengths.