The Beginning

This will be the first of many (not too many, I hope) posts about our impending backyard transformation.

Those of you who have been to our house (or have been within a sixty five mile radius of Tillamook) have seen the absolutely enormous Black Walnut tree growing in our absolutely not enormous backyard.

Here are a few pictures of this voluminous deciduous.

And one more, compliments of Google Maps.

I should preface the following with this disclaimer: I heart this tree. It was one of my favorite attributes to this house when we were looking at buying it. It's just too big. It needs to be in the middle of a giant field somewhere with wildflowers all around and squirrels taking up residence. If I could make that happen I truly would.

That having been said, this is no ordinary walnut tree. This particular tree undergoes an interesting metamorphosis every year around the end of fall, and becomes a giant, walnut-missile launching machine. These walnuts are extremely hazardous! They leave dents in the cars where they land. I'm not even going to begin to describe the agony that is caused by getting nailed on the head with one of these suckers. Seriously, the government should look into this for future warfare weaponry. They could classify it as Green Weapons of Mass Destruction. They could probably get a nice tax write off for it.

The other issue, besides the lethal walnut-chucking behavior of this tree, is that it is extremely windy in Tillamook. A few years ago we had a windstorm that broke the wind-o-meter at 124mph. This type of gusty wind breaks the branches of the tree (branches, mind you, that span over four properties on our block, and hang over the wires that deliver cable and power to all those properties, threatening nightmarish conditions every time a breeze passes through.) One year, a fallen branch took out the passenger side of Ross' car. Another time I came out to walk the dogs and found a 10 foot branch resting on the back of my car. Miraculously it missed it enough not to cause any damage.

I'm starting to think this tree wants to kill us.

After getting some helpful information from my parents, and doing some of our own research we discovered black walnut trees are coveted for the beautiful wood they produce. I'm all about recycling and planting trees, even serial killer ones. So I'd rather the wood was used for something useful rather than being burned or going to a landfill. We started calling around asking tree cutting people if anyone wanted to come take a look at our murderous beast.

We found a great company, JX3Hardwoods, right here in town that harvests high quality hardwood trees and makes wonderful things out of the wood. Here's the best part: are you ready? They are going to pay us to remove our tree. So they're removing our tree, taking the wood away, and paying us to do it. Yes, this is for real. No, we didn't tell them the tree is secretly plotting our demise as we speak.

Due to our ever booming economy, things have moved rather slowly (we made the original agreement in October); however, I'm happy to report that this potential assassin of a walnut tree will fire it's last missile sometime in July (fingers, toes, and eyes crossed anyway).

And to all you Tree-Hugging Hippies out there, yes, we plan to plant a new tree in its place. Something smaller. That does not bear round, smallish, concrete ammunition and require the property's occupants to carry extra health insurance. Maybe a nice soft lilac bush. Or a marshmallow plant...

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