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Rings tell of tree’s wild past

OAKLAND – Rings on the stump of a cut-down tree reveal the rowdy youth of an otherwise upstanding member of the deciduous community.

“You see some real cut-ups in the evergreens and shrubs,” said logger Joe Maughan, “but we were truly surprised to find out some of the hi-jinks in this oak’s history.”

The 80-foot tall tree, in excess of 150 years old, had seen hard times as well as bounty. It had lived through depression, drought and at least two major fires before being felled to make way for a parking lot expansion. Innumerable birds, squirrels and raccoons who had lived and partied in the tree over the years were unavailable for comment.

“You would not believe some of the stories this tree could tell,” said Maughan, pointing to a series of rings detailing late nights from its sapling years through maturity. “This old fella had some great times and lived through it all. Now somebody’s fence or pallet is going to have a lot of character.”

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