Many of the leaves of this pin oak are turning red this week; however, some of the tree's leaves are still green, while a lot are brown. The tree stands tall with another pin oak on the front of our property. Two others were planted with them more than a half-century ago, but a tornado destroyed those two several years ago. I remember helping my dad plant the four oaks when I was kid; it was no easy task. We dug up the trees in the Silver Creek bottomlands owned by my grandfather and a couple of his duck-hunting buddies. The oaks were already taller than I was then, so we had to dig deep and far enough out from their trunks so as not to kill the roots. A local farmer and his son helped us that day, and they brought along their flatbed farm truck in order to haul the trees out of the bottomlands. Often, when I look out at the tall oaks now, I think about my dad and Mr. Spealman and his son, Lawrence, and the heavy-duty work it took to successfully transplant those beautiful pin oaks. It took a tornado to rip away two of them – each one at least 65 feet tall and basically full grown by then – but I hope the other two, both of which are significantly taller than an average full-grown pin oak, live many more years.
T.E. Griggs is a writer, editor and photographer and a retired U.S. Marine.