we thought maybe peach tree was dead but were holding out hope that the appearance of a few leaves meant the core tree was still alive.
a fruit tree expert recommended i do scratch test to see if it was really alive. what’s the scratch test ( i didn’t know either )? you scratch a bit of the bark and look for greenish hued living tissue that is the vascular cambium. dry, brittle, and brown cambium means the tree is dead.
unfortunately, i don’t see any green.
any thoughts from the arborists in the audience? am i doing the scratch test correctly?
seven years ago for mother’s day i planted a peach tree and it gave us many stories, including balloon peach decoys, The Great Peach Harvest, The Transformative Power of A Real Peach ( and a little heavy whipping cream ) and peaches and cream ice cream.
but alas, the brutal winter seems to have taken a toll on the peach tree and save for a few leaves on one branch, the tree appears to be dead.
such a big, big, big drag. i was really looking forward to some peaches and and heavy whipping cream ;-(
after a 7 week delay, since i was able to pick up the black locust decking ( undeterred by horrid weather ) for The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s), it was time to get building again!
and nobody is always more willing to help than odin. he helped carry and hoist all thirty two of the fourteen foot very heavy boards from the garage to the ladder without a single complaint.
of course, the promise of finally getting to stand on the deck is a great motivator 🙂
two hours later after carrying board after board and waiting for me to straighten them on the deck, odin finally got to stand on the deck! a mere two years after hatching the original very crazy plan. then, i just had an idea with absolutely no idea how would build a deck around two trees 12 feet up in the air. it’s a really awesome feeling to finally get to stand up there with odin and feel the trees gently swaying and listen to the birds chirping.
it took awhile to figure it all out, but having fun building it with odin is the real goal so it really doesn’t matter how long it takes us.
while futzing with the spacing between the planks i decided to lay under the deck to get a look at how it looked and it occurred to me that i’m really, really, really glad i decided to hang the supports on solid lengths of 3/4″ threaded rod that go all the way through the tree. there’s a lot of wood up there and the black locust is astonishingly heavy. there might be over 3,000 pounds of materials up there that i want to stay up there. the good news is that it seems very solid and yet it’s still designed to move with the trees.
of course, after all that hard work we have to drag up some camp chairs and talk about how awesome it’s going to be to pitch a tent on the deck after the posts and guard rails go up. we’ll get some camping in while we design the treehouse that’s going to get built on top of the deck!
how do you make being with your son up in the trees any more awesome? run an electrical cord up there and start using POWER TOOLS!
this just keeps getting better and better. stay tuned…
while i fiddle around on the deck, odin lounges about with the chickenpox, swinging in a hammock imagining all the Super Awesome things we might be able to design into The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s).
maybe a slide ( or water slide?! ) that take a steep dive off the deck and a few twists and turns on the way down. or maybe a climbing wall up one side with monkey bars along the bottom of the deck to a fireman’s pole that you slide down. certainly a hammock 15 feet up on the trees is necessary!
i have no idea how many of his crazy ideas we’ll build but i do love that he has crazy ideas and usually has a credible plan in his mind for how to build them.
a little more progress on The World’s Most Awesome Treehouse(s)! i made space around the trees with cripple joists, added the remainder of the floor joists and added deck blocking for stability. i think i decided to double up the end joists along the 16 foot side like i did along the 14 foot side for just a little bit more rigidity so i still have that to finish.
but after that i’ll be ready to add the decking and then the guard rail and balusters!
one big remaining decision – to use pressure treated decking or not? i think i’m leaning towards pressure treated to help prevent decay. i’m thinking that anything i put on unfinished decking to prevent rot is going to be at least as unfriendly as pressure treated lumber. suggestions?
here you can see a bit of how i put in the cripple joists to give the trees room to grow while having 16″ on center joists. it’s hard not to get a little vertigo looking 12 feet down through the joists!