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Made in the shade no longer

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I hate when big old trees are cut down, for lots of reasons. A neighbor took one down last week, though, that’s had a direct impact on my work. Wait, what?

I love big, elderly trees. They lend beauty to the landscape, are natural sound and wind barriers, provide shade and more. But when they’re damaged or diseased, or if they interfere with overhead wires or underground utilities, sometimes they just have to be removed. That was the case with a big maple across the way. The tree, damaged a couple years ago in a derecho that roared through here, never quite recovered. Last week, they had to get rid of it.

My garage woodshop gets uncomfortably hot in the summer. I open up at night and use a window fan to cool the shop out, then close it up tight in the morning to hold the cooler air as long as possible. That typically helps till well after lunch, and by that time the sun is starting to cross over to the back of the house.

And by a happy happenstance, that old maple across the street – exactly southeast of our house – was perfectly aligned so that in July and part of August it cast a shadow directly across the street and onto my garage. The garage door, which can radiate a ton of heat inward, didn’t get direct sun until 10:00 or 10:30.

Now, however, my shop doesn’t get that morning shade. As a result, that garage door takes a direct hit from the sun beginning around 8:00 and I can really tell the difference. With the heat we’ve had lately, my shop has been hitting the mid-80s by late morning, and higher by afternoon. It’s miserable in there.

I’m not a “tree hugger” by any means, but I really do love them. I also love wood, and understand fully when they have to be taken down. But this is one tree I am really going to miss.



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