Pool poplar being toppled
What’s left of a tall-timbered Lombardy poplar that has stood for about 40 years on the grounds above the Hot Springs Pool will be felled this morning.
The tree, which measured about 100 feet tall and roughly 14 feet in diameter at its base, was diseased and considered a safety hazard. It also partially blocked the view of the pool and beyond for guests and visitors to the Hot Springs Lodge just north of the pool.
“It was a beautiful tree, but it was pretty nasty,” said Scott Daniels, owner of High Rise Tree Care Service in New Castle.
Daniels and his crew removed the tree’s branches Tuesday in preparation for today’s final cutting. He estimated the tree would come down in sections beginning at about 10:30 a.m.
The Lombardy poplar is a fast-growing tree and is often planted in rows as a wind break.
Over time, explained Daniels, pests like wood bores can get into the wood and weaken and eventually kill trees and make them susceptible to disease, as was the case with this particular tree. Once they become diseased, they become weak, which can cause a liability problem, said Daniels.
The labor-intensive job of trimming the branches took the better part of Tuesday afternoon. The final felling, once the trunk is secured, will go a bit more quickly, but it’s no light task.
Daniels estimated that just one vertical foot of the tree’s trunk taken from its base weighs about 500 pounds. The tree also consumes about 800 gallons of water per day.
“They grow pretty fast,” he said of poplars.
A member of the cottonwood family, the poplar also makes for a fine, medium-grade firewood. After it’s split, the wood from this tree will need to cure for six to seven months before it will burn well.
Daniels, whose customers include the towns of Carbondale and New Castle, as well as the Hot Springs Pool, said he turns all the wood his company cuts into firewood.
Some of it is donated to organizations like LIFT-UP and given to families that can’t afford to buy it. The rest is sold by the carload, truckload or the cord. A cord is 128 cubic feet, or 4 by 4 by 8 feet.
“We sell about 200 cords a year,” he said.
“It makes it easy. That way, we don’t have to take it to the dumps.”
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