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/9/08 – We marked the end of an era here at Sawbill when

5/9/08 – We marked the end of an era here at Sawbill when three big norway (red) pines that have been standing sentinel to our canoe yard came down. One of them was sort of “in” the driveway and had been hit by cars so many times over the years that it was entirely girdled around it’s base. The pine next to it was attacked by a pileated woodpecker this spring (see 4/20/08 entry below). The woodpecker removed so much wood that we were afraid the towering pine would snap off in the next wind storm, crushing a building, vehicle, pile of Kevlar canoes, or all of the above. As we contemplated cutting down these two damaged trees, we discovered serious rot in the base of third nearby red pine.
All the large pines on our property are roughly the same age. They sprouted following a huge fire in the 1890s that extended from 12 miles south of Sawbill all the way up into Canada. Fire ecologist Bud Heinselman estimated the size of that fire at nearly 3 million acres!
We were very sad to see the trees go, but every living thing reaches an end sometime. Sawmills won’t take logs that have been in a developed area for fear of ruining there saw blades on imbedded nails, so we will burn the trees in our boilers. – Bill
The canoe yard just before the three trees came down.
Two down and the third is just beginning to fall.