I am conducting a mapping survey of all the trees in the forest and I just came across this tool. I'm wondering who made it and how? This tree (I think...its a bit hard to tell on this program) is the tallest in this area. It is a cottonwood (Poplus...
I am conducting a mapping survey of all the trees in the forest and I just came across this tool. I'm wondering who made it and how? This tree (I think...its a bit hard to tell on this program) is the tallest in this area. It is a cottonwood (Poplus trichocarpa). The beavers have felled almost all the cottonwood, ash, and willow. I caged this one in an effort to create a standing snag and for other reasons.
This tree was in my yard growing up: A beautiful, tall big leaf maple with multiple trunks that formed an inner space that you could climb in. That's how it began: My friends and I would clamber up the "steps" (roots) and into the circular space betw...
This tree was in my yard growing up: A beautiful, tall big leaf maple with multiple trunks that formed an inner space that you could climb in. That's how it began: My friends and I would clamber up the "steps" (roots) and into the circular space between the trunks. It was a perfect hideout. There was even a little “shelf” inside it where a trunk had been cut away. Soon I was brainstorming a tree house.
When I was putting up a "floor" that was just branches and grass somehow woven together and propped up between the trunks, my dad asked me what I was doing. He helped me to build a real floor, one that could actually hold a person’s weight. We placed that floor high enough in the tree that my friends and I could still stand in the cavern between the trunks on the "first level." I built walls by wedging sticks between the trunks, one on top of another. I was careful to choose sticks that were the right length to fit in the space between the trunks, and that were the right shape to fit alongside the ones next to them. It was a pretty intricate process! I also sealed the wall with mud, which I applied to the gaps between the sticks. I made windows by leaving a large gap in the wall.
My dad and I nailed in some ladder-like steps, made from pieces of wood left over from building our deck, that were also wedged in between the trunks. We built a door out of plywood, attached the hinges to the tree itself, and added a latch that meant it could be locked from the inside. I nailed branches all across the door so that it matched the stick walls. We built a roof, too, which sat securely between the trunks, and my dad also attached it to the tree somehow. We created a four-foot-square deck on the side facing the road, which had railing made of a large, horizontal stick and a couple of smaller stick-posts. We added a rope ladder leading up to the deck. My friends and I could pull up the ladder to completely seal off the treehouse, mwahaha!
It was an amazing place to play, alone or with friends. It also felt good just to sit in a tree, listening to the chatter of squirrels and birds in the adjacent, forested portion of the yard. One time, I discovered that a raccoon was hanging out in my treehouse. I let it have its space, but I was excited about sharing “my tree” with the rest of my neighborhood ecosystem. In fact, I think I saw It as less of “my tree” and more as a tree that I was lucky enough to have access to. I felt a sense of reverence for it.
As I grew older, I would still go out to sit in the tree sometimes, especially when I was stressed and needed time to think. Over the years, the tree trunks continued to grow. They began to grow around the walls and the door, further securing our additions to the tree. The one downside is that the door couldn’t open anymore once I was in high school, as the trunks had gotten too big. But I could still climb up through the deck. I vividly remember a few days in my junior and senior years, when stress was getting the better of me, and all I wanted and needed was to sit in the treehouse. It provided a welcome and soothing escape.
Since I grew up with this tree, it is no wonder that being in nature feels like home.