The Dr. Seuss carob tree grew on the edge of the driveway and judging from the heap of trimmed branches, the tree provided excellent shade.
Distressed properties, like this one, with a small house and one car garage are a common sight in the San Fernando Valley. They generally have large lots with plenty of fruit trees and gardens planted out back of the house. This one is a block East of Reseda Blvd between Parthenia and Nordhoff. It was recently bought by a developer who plans to "build out" the lot with a two story apartment complex, with parking under...probably quite similar to those you can see in the next picture across the street. The developer's first task is to remove all the trees and buildings and excavate the roots: clear the lot.
A gigantic ash stood in the center of the rear yard. The lot was about an acre.
My friend Jaques Hay owns a trophy store called Award Winners on Reseda Blvd. about two blocks west of this site. He heard the trees were coming down and came to check it out. He called me on the phone. He was excited. "Hey John! You got to come over here!" They're cutting down a whole lot worth of gigantic trees. You're gonna love it. They even have a carrot tree." Jaques is new to turning and not expert at tree recognition. His enthusaism is infectious and I jumped before questioning once of twice and found myself out to look at pine. I don't turn pine. Pine dissapoints me. It breaks too easily once it is dry and when its green it covers everything with pine pitch goo...boo! So I responded a little slowly to this call. I stopped for a coffee. Cellular Phone rang; "Ya comin'? Hurry up! You gotta see it. You're gonna love this! I'm gonna be your best friend! Get over here!"
An overgrown juniper with its brances removed, stood showing its bright orange flesh where it had been cut.
The crow cawed again.
So I arrived in a great big rush and found nobody there. A juvenile crow sat on a power pole He looked down at me and cawed. I called Jaques. "What? is this a joke!" "I know," said Jaques, "isnt it unbelieveable?" "Ya." I said. The crow cawed again. "When are they coming back?" "They left? ...Oh, well, the guy said you're welcome to whatever you want."
An Orange Tree
A young walnut.
I took him at his word. I knew they had left long "stumps" because they would try to pull the trees out by them. So I was careful to leave enough of them to get a good purchase on them with a strap. But I was sue they would need to excavate almost all of them. I got enough to fill my truck and went home very happy with the smaller trees.... Knowing I'd get back there in the morning and maybe I could get some part of that big ash tree. and the carob.
I got it home and unloaded and fell asleep feeling happy and lucky. I went back the next morning and hung around and talked with the boss and his crew. I had a chainsaw with me but never got a chance to use it. The truck driver said he wanted me to go home. He couldn't have me on the property. He would haul the trees to my house and dump them in my driveway. I was delighted. He said it would save him dump fees and he had me spot chunks and the trees I wanted.
They brought the trees I had picked out and dumped them in my driveway.
Big ash bowl still on the lathe.
I couldn't park in my driveway, nor open my gate, nor walk too and fro to my shop. I didn't care. I parked out on the street and you could find me happily slicing chunks off the great big logs and setting them up on my lathe.
First bowl from the giant ash tree.
Big ash nesting bowls (large bowl is 24" in diameter.
A really big Juniper bowl from a way overgrown juniper bush.