Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Toppled Giant

I love living in a place where people mourn the passing of good old trees. An email from Linfield College, where I'm setting up an archaeological field class for Summer 2008, about the fall of a grand old giant (photo above).

From: Fred Ross []
Sent: Tue 1/8/2008 4:51 PM
Subject: The Old Oak

Dear Friends -

I am writing with the sad news that, today at 1:35 pm Pacific time,
Linfield's Old Oak tree just toppled over. We in the President's Office
heard a loud crash sounding quite a bit like thunder, but very quickly
could see that the sound was the falling of this venerable symbol of our
College. As you have probably heard, some pruning had been done recently
to the Oak to cut out diseased wood, and plans were under way to add new
supports for its lower limbs. We've had very wet weather with lots of wind
and some snow, but today was a typical McMinnville winter day - gray and
wet, with light winds. What finally caused the Oak to fall I can't say,
although the base of the tree is now clearly visible and not many large
roots remained.

Tom Hellie is returning from a trip to the east coast this evening: I
notified him of what has happened as soon as I could. We plan to save as
much of the healthy wood as possible, and discussions have begun about how
to preserve that wood. In the meantime, we mourn the passing of a giant.

Fred Ross

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that it's good to live where people appreciate ancient living things. Oaks can live 500 years or so. Poet Gary Snyder says that trees are our elders - you know, that tree may have been alive when the artifacts you will dig up this summer were made! Cool, huh? Hopefully the college will let someone look at the tree rings to figure out old weather patterns and such.
BTW - nice blog - interesting topics and well done.