THE TALE OF A TIMBER FRAME TREE
As we scouted our woods for trees to build our house, our daughter looked at this black walnut and said, “That’s going to be the corner of your bedroom.” Like most of the trees we chose, it was growing in a crowded area and this one had a very lopsided habit as it stretched out of the close-grown woods into the sun.
Along with the other trees for the house, it was peeled standing so it could dry and become lighter and easier to work with when it was felled and dragged back to the building site in the winter over frozen, less easily damaged ground. I wasn’t sure those graceful, fanning branches would make the journey intact.
So far – so good! It’s stronger than I gave it credit for.
It was sanded and painted with the other timbers.
It was fitted into one of the timber frame bents.
The bents were hoisted into place by crane. That was a sight!
The tree was put in place last summer, but the bedroom was a little hard for me to visualize.
I know for a fact there have been easier timbers to straw bale around, but not too many more lovely ones.
There are many trees holding up our house that I remember with the same detail.
Where they stood, why we selected them, working on finishing them, watching them come together into the timber frame of Underhill House.
It’s easy to forget how much we rely on these amazing plants. The trees we depend on for so many aspects of our lives are usually ground down and reconstituted to the point where they no longer seems like something that grew and lived. It seems like a commodity that you just order, and it appears. That’s a very short-sighted notion.
I love how Underhill House constantly reminds me of what we owe to these stalwart creatures.