The Oak Tree
The weather had turned hot, not exactly digging weather and the oak was growing at the front of the house in full view of the sun.
I tried to judge when would be a good time to start, but it wasn’t looking good. The hot sun was constant, not losing heat until it began to set at around 7pm. I prayed for more cloud or even rain, as it wouldn’t be the first time I had been gardening in the pouring rain. In an emergency, I once put up 20 feet of fencing like that. If I need to do something, a little water will not stop me.
It doesn’t get dark until nearly 10pm, I would have three hours to get the job done.
When the time came, I had a few words with my target before I started digging. Not asking for a miracle or any cooperation, you understand, for I knew what I was in for. More to explain what I wanted to do. After all, this was an oak, once sacred and maybe still could be. It had been trying to grow in the wrong place for nearly 12 years, so although it was only two feet high, the roots would be extensive and most of them would be thick tap roots.
I started digging the trench around the tree again, meeting several large tap roots in the process. I severed these and kept digging. These were primarily for stability and wouldn’t be needed for what I had in mind.
The trench could only extend halfway around the tree for it was growing so close to our ancient wall. At this point, the job was beginning to look impossible. The trench was nearly 2 feet deep, but the tree wasn’t moving.
Time to start undercutting, so I produced my kneeling pad and set to work.
Several enormous tap roots later, there was still no movement and there had to be a reason. One last tap root was holding the tree in place, but I hadn’t spotted (or felt it) yet.
Despite the sun going down, it didn’t seem any cooler. I was dripping with sweat, very muddy and bleeding from several nasty gouges on both arms.
This oak wasn’t playing nice and I was exhausted, but not beaten or about to give up.
I cleared more soil to find the offending root.
My heart almost stopped when I found it. Covered in mud, it had been almost invisible and the size of it was incredible. It was the size of my arm!
Time to attack it with my branch saw.
I battled for another hour, determined to succeed in walking away with the sacred oak in my arms.
When it finally came free, I almost crawled around to my back yard, where I dumped it unceremoniously into a large bucket of water…
Tune in later for what happened next…