This is that same view as of today. It’ll be a while before I stop doing a double-take as I pass by the window outside which this large tree trunk once stood. I had the tree cut short enough, so it wouldn’t reach the house if it fell in that direction. Fortunately, it went the other direction and landed in a spot where it can be left to continue its slow deterioration.
The three large branches broke at the point where they forked from the stout base. The tree has securely brought itself to rest and will not be doing any further shifting of position.
Despite nine years of weathering, the outside wood of both branches and trunk are still remarkably solid. Even when the tree was alive, the point that branches diverge from the trunk was a weak spot. It’s natural that the breaks would occur here.
The dead tree has had no shortage of insect residents. The wood surface is covered with holes created by a variety of wood borers.
This cavity, found near the top of the smallest diameter branch, fledged a batch of bluebirds this summer. I’m glad the tree didn’t come down during nesting season.
Decomposition was more rapid at and below the ground, where fluctuation of temperature and moisture levels was minimized. Had the trunk followed the same pace, there would probably be just a pile of crumbs here now.
Loss of its vertical attitude has not dissuaded the woodpeckers from visiting the tree. They still probe the cracks and crevices, but seem to have abandoned it as a regular feeding station.
Sunflower seeds taken from the feeder are now conveyed to a dead limb on the old apple tree for opening and consumption. I’ll miss watching the adult birds teach their offspring the knack of placing a sunflower seed in just the right crevice so the husk can be easily removed. The woodpecker tree may be down, but I’m sure it will still provide plenty of interest for me to observe.