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June 10, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Heat arresting development. Treed

Not good to leave old ones out in the sun. (UPDATE at end of post – Tues.)

Dehydration. Just get parched.

Now they have to be tough to live over 100 years, but still.

They get very confused.

Baffled. Jerked outa place, then left sittin’

Is this a hostage situation?

Puzzlin’ over the possible ransom note.

Is there anyone left to care?

And where would such a demand be sent?

The Ghirardi family has been gone a long time.

And what’s this a-wrappin around down here? Odd.

Wearing a wooden shoe and not even Dutch.

A clunky thing – fits like a snug boot.

Maybe it’s one of those parking boots for cars? From being parked in one place too long?

Oh dear. What was the time limit for that spot?

Seems like an eternity went past sittin’ there.

But now, here, is just a puzzlement.

Like forgotten.

But there’s people stoppin’ by and talkin’ friendly – like they’re checking.

Weighty issues must be involved.

Guess it’s just wait and see.

Patience is a lovely thing – just like an old tree.

A tree like the Ghirardi Compton Oak.

The tree was pulled from the ground after 9 pm Thursday night just before a big rain storm.

Word was the company was going to attempt to move it Saturday.

A bulldozer and 2 other heavy equipment machines were moved into place. Heavy chains were secured.

But nothing.

The big equipment has disengaged and moved.

Probably for a couple of reasons.

The tree turned out to be much heavier than expected (outweighed the biggest crane first brought in).

Now it’s even heavier after some rain.

Also there’s the dirt.

Not familiar with the black gumbo soil here?

Think a mix of molasses and clay.

After a rain, it will pull the shoes right off your feet.

In drought, it dries hard as rock and cracks. Don’t even try putting in a fence post.

So the 1500 feet the heavy tree must travel is sticky sludge.

The contractor was nervous on Friday. So many people watching – and it wasn’t going well.

The League City Ghirardi Compton Oak Update page is down now being updated.

Saturday it said the tree would move Monday. Then last night it said they weren’t sure when the move would take place.

Ghirardi Oak Tree Cam is still functioning (click here). The tree itself is the tall one in the top right quadrant of the frame.

You can see all the cars, bikes, and people checking on the tree.

People here have a history for watching out for trees.

Oaks were planted near the railroad station around 1900 so there would be a bit of shade to escape the heat of the grassy coastal prairie. Those mature trees are now a city park.

Cattle were penned close by the rails before moving on to the port of Galveston to shipped by boat – many to Cuba. Anyone interested in Longhorns or cattle knows George W. Butler whose family arrive in 1873 and built the Butler Ranch.

By the 1890’s lots were sold to farmers (30 Italian families created vegetable farms) and the town grew rapidly. So did the trees.

A long line of mature oaks stand across from City Hall and the library.

In 1994, another stand of old oaks were about to be sold for a strip center development. Walter Gardner Hall bought the property and created a garden in honor of his wife, Helen, who was born in League City in 1907. Mr. Gardner said he remember walking under the shade of those trees everyday on his way to and from work. He couldn’t bear to see them cut down. He donated Helen’s Garden to the city. It’s a favorite spot for weddings and photos – or to just a cool spot to hang out under the trees listening to the waterfall and fountains.

League City residents have tried to preserve the little town’s history and buildings.

The fight to save this one old tree is part of that.

I know it’s a lot to ask, but please Tinker Bell,

A little of that Pixie Dust to help this tree lighten the load and safely land in sanctuary?

It would mean so much.

We’ll all shout “Fly tree, fly” on your cue.

UPDATE:

Tues. the League City website says needed equipment is supposed to arrive Tues. afternoon or Wed.

They promise to update information about planned move. 

Monday they were able to dig the hole.

In an interview, the contractor said the plan is to slowly push and drag the 540 ton Ghirardi Compton oak tree across the field down a dirt ramp into the hole with equipment going out on a ramp on the other side of the hole. It will be very slow going slower than the shuttle’s move and should take at least 5 hours. Once the move starts, they don’t want to keep it moving and not stop. They may try putting water on the ground/grass to help the tree slide.

Meanwhile, the tree is being given water, and liquid food. There is some new growth/leaves appearing. 

Hang in there tree!

Waiting for go, you know

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Related post about the Ghirardi Compton Oak: “Bored? Sappy Story. It’s Moving.”

Read more about oak trees:

The First People. Sioux Legend. “The man and the oak” (Found in 1901 NY Times also)

Greek, Roman, Celtic, Welsh, Britain and others revered oak trees from early times. (legends)

Trees for Houston blog: a non-profit dedicated to planting, protecting and promoting trees.

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26 Comments

  1. Cat Forsley / Jun 10 2012 8:04 pm

    OWWWW……….:( 😦 😦
    AMAZING WRITING MR. HEDGE
    BUT SAD .
    THANK YOU FOR BEING A WONDERFUL TREE HUMAN ….
    CAT X

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 10 2012 8:45 pm

      Trees are critical to make this climate tolerable. Thanks for the kind words

      Like

      • Cat Forsley / Jun 10 2012 11:45 pm

        I TOTALLY KNOW MR. HEDGE ……
        HUMANITY SOMETIMES BAFFLES ME .
        I USED TO BE AN ACTIVIST …….
        I WROTE A SONG CALLED HUMANITY I LOVE YOU ……………
        I THINK PEOPLE ARE GONNA START WAKING UP SOON ………
        AND LIKE IN YOUR OTHER POST ———- EVERY CREATURE / PLANT / HUMAN HAS A VOICE ……….. AND IT MAKES ME SAD TO HEAR THAT TREE’S VOICE ……….
        CUZ I KNOW HE HAS ONE ………..
        LIKE WE ALL DO …….
        GOOD FOR YOU FOR WRITING ABOUT IT /////
        CAT XX

        Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2012 1:09 am

          Thanks – I love your concepts – will be over to visit soon – just overloaded on boring stuff that has to be done right now! Thanks again

          Like

        • Cat Forsley / Jun 11 2012 1:12 am

          TAKE YOUR TIME …………
          I LIKE DISCUSSING TREES WITH YOU ——-
          🙂 IT’S REALLY HUMANS TOO RIGHT ?

          UR SO WELCOME …….
          XX

          Like

  2. shoreacres / Jun 10 2012 8:11 pm

    Oh, this is just killing me. Went down there this morning and got some wonderful pics, including a grandpa telling stories about it to his grandkids. They can’t just leave it there to die, can they? Why is the web page down? What’s going to happen? Shouldn’t someone be standing there with an umbrella over it? Oh… well, maybe that would be hard.

    Someone has to know what they’re doing, right? Right? I’m going to go find some fairy dust.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 10 2012 8:37 pm

      They took the low bid. On Friday, the contractor was obviously nervous around 7.(I would feel better if the man/company that invented the process of moving giant trees was moving it…he’s in Houston – and would know about gumbo…)
      Everyone is going over there. It was a mob yesterday. (So glad you got some stories – post the pix?)
      Do you think that tank is what they are watering it from? It supposed to be getting water and food.
      Suppose it would be cheaper if it just died…they could say they tried.
      Looking for elfin magic and Pixie Dust..Glad you flew by

      Like

  3. rumpydog / Jun 10 2012 9:28 pm

    Why does it seem that in order for all things beautiful to be, we must depend on the kindness of rich people? I am so over that.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 10 2012 11:29 pm

      If you know any rich people with money to spare …we’ve got projects. (but we won’t wait on the check)
      This tree is being saved by contributions, a grant from Trees of Houston, donation of small piece of a field by a widow, and money in city budget for parks (that comes from a tax developers pay).
      Not many rich people live around here (it’s never been that kind of area – everyone knows how to use shovels and hammers). Most are interested and willing to raising money for worthy causes, ask for donations from businesses/companies, look at budget’s priorities, and some retired people have started helping with grant writing. Grants and fundraising built our “playground without boundaries”. Working on bike trails, pocket parks, and more dog parks now.(Great area for dogs, too Rumpy!)
      All working together can accomplish a lot and create beauty, too.

      Like

  4. jmmcdowell / Jun 10 2012 9:53 pm

    I hope you’ll be able to vote some people out of office…. Low bids often carry hidden higher costs.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 10 2012 11:35 pm

      People here got rid of the last mayor – and this bunch should remember it. Sometimes small towns governments have nice people who aren’t quite up to issues facing a growing community. Thanks for dropping by to chat

      Like

  5. braintomahawk / Jun 10 2012 10:49 pm

    Thanks for keeping its story alive at the very least.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 10 2012 11:37 pm

      It’s a big thing around here – probably no one else cares. Hoping they manage to get the poor tree in the ground tomorrow. Thanks for stopping to chat

      Like

  6. writingfeemail / Jun 11 2012 1:51 am

    What are the odds that the tree will survive the move? We’ve moved a few around our house. Some survived and others didn’t. It’s sad to lose one.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2012 1:00 pm

      Moving a tree is iffy under the best conditions. It’s probably the worst time of year to move a tree: over 90 and baking.
      This has been an issue for 9 months – could have been done earlier, but guess it took a while for the city to understand how angry the voters were about the chainsaws….and people didn’t go away and forget.
      I feel a little sorry for the contractor – he’s been handed a difficult job.
      It’s about to be on the news now.
      Thanks for branching off to visit

      Like

  7. PiedType / Jun 11 2012 6:04 am

    Sure doesn’t look to me like they went very deep on those roots. Poor tree. It reminds me of Oklahoma City’s Survivor Tree. Similar shape. But nobody tried to move the Survivor Tree. I hope your oak makes it.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2012 1:10 pm

      That’s what I thought, too – had more hope until actually seeing how shallow that root box is.
      Had forgotten about the Oklahoma City Survivor Tree.
      Odd how humans and oak trees have had some sort of connection throughout history.(They’ve probably given up trying to teach us anything by now?)
      Thanks for adding that Oklahoma connection

      Like

  8. jannatwrites / Jun 11 2012 6:16 am

    I’m sorry to find that the the conditions weren’t cooperating and the tree didn’t get planted. Here’s hoping for good weather so the tree can be in the ground tomorrow. I hope it survives!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2012 1:23 pm

      The TV cameras are back. It looks like they are bringing in another heavy vehicle to push ( the test move Sat. didn’t budge it – estimated about 540 tons.
      The company says it will take at least 5 hours to move 1500 feet (slower than the space shuttle) and once it starts, they don’t want to stop.
      They started digging the hole for it this morning – and have found it filling rapidly with water ( we are near the coast and Clear Lake so the water table is high)
      Our pro-tree city councilwoman is out there (she’s a naturalist) and has hopes. The tree has been pre-treated before the move, is being given food and extra water – there’s even some new growth.
      Hope they can get the hole dug and let the tree creep to it’s new home.
      Thanks for checking on the tree!

      Like

  9. MJ, Nonstepmom / Jun 11 2012 1:59 pm

    Wheres Joni Mitchell when you need her ! “…paved paradise to put up a parking lot…..”

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 11 2012 8:39 pm

      That music was blaring quite a bit for city council. Now they are saying tree will move tomorrow. The hole is getting dug and heavy equipment will be arriving. TV crews are standing by. It will move more slowly than the space shuttle – about 5 hours for 1500 feet. HAng in there tree! Thanks for swinging by

      Like

Trackbacks

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