Crow’s Nest: Mischief Managed*

August 17, 2021

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Dark storm clouds over a field

Photo: Daniel Barringer

We’ve had a few storms this summer, and consider ourselves fortunate to have avoided more serious weather-related damage. But we still spend a lot of time proactively pruning branches, removing hazard trees, and cleaning up when we aren’t able to anticipate what will break next.

A broken branch hanging over a trail

Photo: Daniel Barringer

A preserve visitor alerted us to this snag hanging precariously over the trail that leads from Hopewell Road to the savanna. (You can see our interpretive sign about invasive species, strategically mounted in a place where there are, well, a lot of them.) We are always grateful when visitors notice something we didn’t see and I immediately went out to look for this branch. Not surprisingly, it is from an ash that died from Emerald Ash Borer, broken off and hung in a branch of tuliptree.

A tractor pulling down a branch that was hanging over a trail

Photo: Daniel Barringer

One doesn’t want to be anywhere near a branch like this when removing it, so after creating a breakaway notch in it using a power pole pruner I returned to the barn to retrieve the tractor and a bull rope. A short tug with the tractor and the whole thing came down.

* Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, “The Marauder’s Map” in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling, 1999.