Twenty-five years ago this month, Steve and I were looking to buy a home in the mountains. We found a fixer-upper, old miner’s cabin in Descanso that met our criteria: relatively flat land, fenced yard, large kitchen, garage storage, etc. Yes, it’s a fixer-upper, and we’ve done some work, and still have more to do. But the one thing we both fell in love with upon first sight was this very old, very large oak tree in the center of the patio in the backyard. We ended up christening her “Grandmother Oak” and she was one of the biggest trees in the neighborhood, if not in town. We have had 25 years worth of family get-togethers, parties and just plain fun around her.

Two years ago she started dying. We paid to have someone help revive her, but that only hastened her death. For the last year and a half, we’ve lived with her corpse gracing our patio. This week, we had her cut down.


The sadness of losing her was two years ago when she started dying. It actually felt good to finally have her taken care of. That being said, it seems strange on our patio now. Way more sun (not looking forward to the summer without her), and the feeling of something missing. The one thing I’ve learned (and keep posting about) is the cycle of life, so we accept that her time had come. We have several of her children thriving and I think they’ll grow more now that she’s gone.

IMG_1627small IMG_1635small IMG_1644small

However, she’s not “completely” gone. After about three and half days, a crew of 3-4 young, very strong men managed to cut off her crown (we have many years worth of firewood in our yard now). They left about 12 feet of her trunk. Because I love to have a multitude of projects around the house (look up AADD), I’ve added turning her dead trunk into my next project: some kind of arty/crafty bird/fairy sculpture. Or not. But I’m leaning toward that.


Goodbye old girl. You gave us 25 years of shade, happiness, spiritual inspiration, a sense of history, homes for birds and an appreciation for mother nature.


4 thoughts on “Treehugger

    1. Thank you, Rick. I appreciate that. How is your life in Palomar? I hope you enjoy the mountain life. I discovered that I had worked with your niece by marriage for a number of years at SDSU. Candice Cheeseman and I worked together for about five years, and I didn’t know until recently that she was a Murphy. She’s a really sweet girl and I always enjoyed being around her. Just a nice, kind person and very pleasant. Take care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s