Now that spring is in full force over here (though the dry rainless conditions may have stunted the flower and grass growth a bit) i can finally see which parts of the oak trees on the property came back and which parts are definitely dead due to icepocalypse a little over a year ago. Last year they regrew some leaves but the growth was spotty and inconsistent. I decided to wait a full year before assessing what was really dead and what was just wounded. Half of the oak in the center of the dog run appears dead. From the ground to about half way up the tree is alive. From that point to the sky is bare and lifeless…branches dry and snapping when you break them. It’s no longer getting support from the tree. I decided that after this semester is over i will plant the pecan tree and then trim the oaks. I will start by setting up the ladder and sawing the top half of this tree at a strategic point where it branches off from the trunk diagonally. My hope is that i can coax little sucker branches that will undoubtedly grow into larger branches that will one day replace the dead part with growth that will produce leaves as shade cover for the dogs. This would be the motivation to take the dead part off. The oak that hangs over the laundry line is all alive except dor one branch. It has a couple leaves on it but is mostly bare and covered with moss. The moss speaks to a weakened part of the tree. This concerns me more than the dead pieces. At least i understand why they are behaving the way they are…a branch that has enough water in it to make a leaf here and there but not enough strength to fight a parasite moss off or make more leaves could be the result of a number of problems. I decided to monitor the situation. I will make a decision later in the summer but i have marked a spot where the leaf cover ends on this branch that overhangs the laundry line. If the branch is dead by summer i will amputate there. The tree behind the house that got struck by lightening in a storm is complicated. The lightening went through the trunk and into the ground. The bark is rippled and raised up from the trunk in places all the way down to the soil. However, its still pumping water to places because there are these baby sucker branches that have shot out of the sides of this burnt trunk and they are growing like crazy. There are no sucker branches past 5 feet up the trunk. The top portion appears black and dead. I decided to take this portion off, but conservatively. It is intertwined with or locking arms with its twin sister, an unscathed still alive very healthy oak. If i take the whole branch it wont stabilize its sister during wind storms. So, i decided to only take half of the dead branch, leaving them intertwined and stabilized by each other during storms.