Finding Caleb Turner, arborist extraordinare

In front of the cottage there was a cluster of trees known as Black Locusts, ranging in height from 90-100 feet. They had shot up, soaring right in between the electric wires that ran from the telephone pole at the end of the driveway up the street.

Black locust cluster in front of cottage
Black locust cluster in front of cottage


The black locusts, 90-100 feet high, shooting up through the wires
The black locusts, 90-100 feet high, shooting up through the wires


One mighty gust of wind and the results could have been catastrophic…..take your pick, a crushed house, a black out, fatal injuries??? No thanks.

We called a few arborists in the area to see who could fell these trees. Not a one was eager to tackle the job, most didn’t have the kind of heavy equipment needed, and all were afraid to tackle the challenge of extracting the limbs from the wires and felling such enormous trees.

The common black locust (Robiniapsedoacacia) is a firmly entrenched member of the Commonwealth’s flora. Many people believe that is was present in the original forests of the state, however is not native to Massachusetts. There is no mention of the New England black locust in the earliest colonial records. It finally appears in the botanical writings of the late 1700s and mid 1800s, and is described as naturalized, most likely from Appalachia.

Black locusts trees are known for their rapid growth, reaching as much as 100 feet in height, even in poor soil. Black locusts are considered invasive and are hard to eliminate. This tree can send up new sprouts from roots and yes, even stumps. The wood is extremely hard, resistant to rot and very durable- perfect for boat building, flooring, and fence posts. It is also highly valued as firewood, especially for wood burning stoves because it burns slowly and has high heat content. Black locusts are a hearty and can survive drought and harsh winters.

black locust bark
black locust bark

But they couldn’t stay in front of the cottage.

We contacted National Grid who agreed to come and take the trees down. Unfortunately the miserable weather this winter interfered and they didn’t make much headway. High winds, sub zero temperatures and then the mighty snow halted their progress after a few of the limbs had been pruned over the course of an afternoon or two.

And so we waited for the weather to improve, and for National Grid to return.

They never did.

And then we called Caleb Turner, arborist extraordinaire from Housatonic, MA.




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