My name is Old Tree. I haven’t always had this name. In fact, for most of my long life I had no name at all. I first heard my name spoken about twelve years ago when I overheard Farmer Don talking to visitors while they were on a tour of the forest. Since Farmer Don bought this forest, things sure have changed around here for the better....Learn more
I remember when the first people came to this area from Germany around 1878. Farmer Getz, the first human I ever saw, spent several years clearing the forest of trees to make fields and shelters for animals and a log house for his family. I was already a mature tree when he cleared the forest around me and, for a reason known only to him, he spared me from the axe...Learn more
One early sunny day I was roused from my late winter slumber by the sound of excited voices approaching me.
“Look at this one! We can stick three buckets on this guy and they’ll all be full by nightfall.”
Apparently, my prime location accounted for the abundance of branching I possessed and so made me a good candidate as a top maple sap producer.
And produce I did!
Let me tell you about Rock. What a character he was! I knew him well when he worked this bush in the old days. I often hear Farmer Don referring to him on guided tours. Rock was a fixture in this forest for many years during the maple syrup glory days. And I use the word fixture deliberately....Learn more
That winter for weeks on end, from dawn until dusk the thud of axes, the whirr of chainsaws, the rattle of horse harnesses and the staccato voices of loggers invaded our accustomed winter silence. In the end half of the prime sugar maples were felled and sold to the veneer market. The forest was devastated. Over the next twenty years the mountains of brush and treetops slowly decayed and returned to the soil, but the stumps of the great trees remain to this day, blackened by fungus and pointing skyward, a testimony to the atrocity of uncontrolled logging....Learn more