Last Thursday when I was sitting at home reading a book enjoying a day off work, I heard a loud creaking, cracking sound followed by a loud whoomph! Not the kind of sound you want to hear when you live on gum tree studded acreage!
I rushed out onto the veranda to find that a big gum tree close to our house had fallen over – right across the neighbour’s driveway and onto their fence!
If the tree fell a few metres to the right, it would have badly damaged the neighbour’s carport and vehicles and perhaps their in ground pool.
It was extremely fortunate that no one was hurt and the only damage done was a small portion of our wire boundary fence getting crushed under the tree and a section of the neighbour’s wooden fence being broken by the canopy of the tree. And thankfully the possum box was unoccupied at the time.
From the next few photos you can see that the gum tree took out a few limbs of another tree on the way down and also got one of its own branches caught in a neighbouring tree.
It seems that the ground was just so wet from all the rain we’ve been having here, and being on a slight hill side, the tree roots just gave up their fight of holding on and the tree fell over.
Thankfully we have a good neighbour and the matter was quickly sorted. Their insurance company arranged for tree cutters to come out in the afternoon and remove the tree, but only the parts that had crossed the boundary fence line.
The tree cutters were there for several hours, even continuing after dark for awhile, cutting away the canopy so they could get an excavator in to carry the logs of cut branches back to a truck to be turned into bark chips or sawdust. The following morning they were back again to finish the job. You can see in the photo below the damage to the neighbour’s fence once the tree had been cleared from their driveway.
So now we are left with a huge tree trunk on our property we will have to deal with at some point. It’s probably hard for you readers to determine the size of the gum tree from the perspective of the photos, but I can tell you that the trunk is so wide that when I tried to hug the tree I couldn’t get my arms all the way around it. I also measured the trunk left on our property out of curiosity and it was just over 12 metres long. I would say then that the height of the tree was easily 25 metres tall.
To show how big and beautiful this tree was, below left is a photo of this tree back in 2015 when we had a friend help us install the possum box (he had an extremely big ladder!). On the right is a photo I took the day after the tree fell.
I guess an upside of this is that we will now have uninterrupted views straight to the forest and also of the sunsets as this looks to the west.
This spotted gum tree was a beautiful tree. It will be sadly missed, not just by the possums who used the box, or the birds that perched in the branches, but by us, as now a source of shade and protection for the house has gone forever.