Trees with Meaning 2

LiveOak

Monvrovia Oak

Before relocating to Fort Bragg, Linda and I lived in Monrovia, an older suburb in the foothills east of Los Angeles. We lived on Olive Street but few olive trees did. Instead Olive Street was lined with grand, old California Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia)We lived there for two years during which time we purchased a ten-year old Datsun 510 sedan. Great car, but it lived those ten years in the greater Los Angeles area. Which means the ambient ozone levels (along with hydrocarbons, aldehydes, and oxides of nitrogen) rendered the car’s gaskets and weatherstripping only vaguely rubbery.

We moved to Fort Bragg in October of 1981. Two things happened here that month. One was the propitious opening of James Krenov’s Fine Woodworking Program‘s shop at College of the Redwoods. The other was, the week we got here, it started to rain. And rain. And then it rained some more. Fort Bragg’s normal rainfall is in the 40-inch range. That year we were in for over 80-inches. We weren’t ready for that but we managed. And while the car ran like a trooper through it all, it leaked like a colander. At one point, when you applied the brakes, a small tsunami would start from the back seat floor and break like Makaha over the driver’s shoes.

I discovered that the floor of that car (and others, I’m sure) had rubber drain plugs. I pulled them out, draining the passenger compartment of several gallons of captured precipitation.

That spring I needed the spare tire and discovered that I had overlooked draining the spare tire well. It too was aslosh with several inches of slightly rusty water that had been agitating in there for over six months.

Upon draining that pond I discovered an acorn that had fallen in from the tree in front of our house on Olive Street, 560 miles to the south.

What amazed me then and amazes me still is that the acorn had germinated. Now I’m not one to ignore such a blatant hint so I planted it in gallon pot. Like the redwood from Trees with Meaning 1, it grew. I potted it up. Grew some more. I planted it out along our driveway — yeah, that one in the photo. It’s now about 30-feet tall and 24-inches DBH. The utility company tree crew had to trim it out of their lines recently.

I grew an oak tree from an acorn. How cool is that? How old am I?!

About Ron Hock

Owner of HOCK TOOLS (.com) and author of "The Perfect Edge, the Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers"
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4 Responses to Trees with Meaning 2

  1. pfollansbee says:

    Ron – thanks for these posts; what great stories. Nice stuff.
    Peter F

  2. Cool Ron, great story. Those were surely great days. But would you ever try to work that oak or the lesser so called tan oak? Well may be not that particular tree, but such a one?

    On the last question, I had a great uncle who answered that question by saying, “still young enough for action, but old enough to know how to please”. So shall us all. Thanks for the DIY plane drawings.

    red

  3. Jon says:

    Great story. We are planning on doing this with a few spruce trees. We are hoping to plant them when my daughter is born next spring so they will grow with her. Kind of cheesy, but we like the idea 🙂

    • Ron Hock says:

      Don’t wait! Unless you’re planning on planting more mature trees, you’ll gain almost a year of growth by getting them in pots now and planting next spring. Doing cheesy things for a new daughter is really quite sweet. Congratulations!

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