full tree 1knot holes and allBig Cottonwood Down, November 20, 2009, Topeka, Kansas
Although not as old as the famous locust tree at Huntoon and Clay in Topeka (used for shade and rest by travelers moving from Ft. Leavenworth toward the Santa Fe Trail), this cottonwood was much LARGER.
full tree 2 faull tree 3 The tree was judged
by Topeka Forestry officials to be unstable, rotting from the inside. Property owners decided the tree should be removed from property on the corner of 18th Steet and Collins Avenue.
crane lifts high
pulley, crane and control staff, Brown Trimming Service
lopping limbs
sawing limb
lowering limb
lowering limb Work began early on Friday morning by Brown's Tree Service. Crews secured each limb with rope and pulley, lifting a crew member, armed with a chain saw to cut parts loose. Limbs were lowered to the street where they were cut into pieces and disposed of in one of two large dump trucks.
cutting up limbs loading limbs
cranes and more cranes cranes breaking down large limb
Much of the day was spent working in toward the main tree trunk, lopping off limbs from the outside in, top to bottom.
inside truck is hollow, with mushrooms growing in the interior
another hollow trunk lifting trunk parts large trunk hunks
Crandel Lindsey, property owner
hunk of trunk is still large and heavy slicing trunk section lifting trunk section limb slices resting on the ground
yard stump Brownie watching the work. He trimmed this tree in the 1970s.
By late afternoon the trunk was lopped off   
at ground level. Massive cross sections of the   
trunk showed that the heart of the tree was   
gone. White mushrooms grew in the inner   
recesses of the deteriorating central trunk.   
lifting heavy parts into the truckJean Lindsey, owner, with Browniethey grounded the tree stump
the last large piece is loaded Owners and neighbors  watched as crews finished their work, grinding down the tree stump and removing the remains.

truck piece slips loose in the street
large limb awaiting loading cross section of a very moist tree slicing trunk further lfiting trunk slice lifting again
more sawing cross section is about to be lifted lifting the last pieces into the truck bed lfiting the last pieces
By dusk the heavy work was down and the trucks, full of tree parts, left the area.

On Monday, the property was cleaned of debris.

The fine, old cottonwood tree is now a memory in the mind's eye of its once-admirers.





All photos © 2009 by Carol Yoho
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